1. You’re learning that writing even 200 words on a bad day is better than nothing — and you’re getting better at celebrating those small kinds of wins.
2. You know there’s a good story in this big mess you’re making, and you’re determined to find it. Eventually.
3. You’re unapologetically not great at writing this thing, and that’s OK. No one is good at writing a first draft. It’s called a draft for a reason.
4. You’re able to laugh at yourself a little. Not take yourself so seriously, and all that. Hey, you’re human. You know making mistakes is just part of this whole process.
5. You’ve accepted that at least 50 percent of what you’ve written so far isn’t going to make it into the second draft.
6. Even though you’re not too confident in what you’re writing, you’re slowly but truly letting yourself relax and have fun.
7. That is, when you’re not writing the sad parts. If the sad parts are making you extra sad, then you’re feeling the feelings, and you’re on the right track.
8. You’re not worried about everything lining up perfectly or getting it done quickly. You’re just stumbling toward the finish line at your own pace.
9. You’re already seeing glimpses of what this story could be in a later draft. You’re not there yet, but you know what’s possible.
10. You can’t wait to share a more polished version of your story with someone. The excitement keeps you up late sometimes, even on the nights you’re struggling.
11. You’re embracing that struggle, though, because you know it’s all going to be worth it.
12. You know you’re doing what makes you happy. And at the end of it all, that’s really what matters most.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.