In the days, then weeks, then months following NaNoWriMo, what happens to your writing?
Rekka and Brian make the case that very little should change.
- November and NaNoWriMo are about to end.
- You should be writing before, during, and after NaNoWriMo
- Brian doesn’t participate in NaNoWriMo, while Rekka is a Municipal Liaison and participates every year.
- Just because November’s over doesn’t mean you’re done—either with writing or this project you worked on.
- If NaNoWriMo was the first time you started working on a project, here’s the perfect opportunity to not stop.
- November can become a flurry of activity, but despite the fatigue, Rekka hopes you may have found a way to fit writing into your life (even if not at the NaNo pace).
- Self-care is important, and you may need to pick up where you left off in October or just recover from the effort, but please don’t stop writing until next NaNoWriMo.
- Now that you have this momentum, and figured out how to create a habit, you have the choice to continue that or break away from the writing. Only one of those will take your further into your writing.
- If you put a lot of things on hold to write in November, you can back off on the writing without discontinuing it entirely.
- If you made a positive word count during November, whether it’s 15 words or 50,000, that forward progress is the thing that matters.
- Ask your family or life-involved people to help you keep up your new habit in whatever what you can negotiate (chores/escape/etc.).
- If you wrote words during November, in Rekka’s book, you win. Be proud of that progress, and keep going.
- There’s more work to do: finish the draft, or begin to revise it, then take it to a professional editor or Beta readers to get it published (aka “out there in the world”).
- If you aren’t happy with the book and don’t want to do anything else with it: trunk it and write something else. Maybe come back to it (or don’t).
- The writing or revising may be harder for you, but everything is a critical part of the process. Re-writing isn’t meant to be a chore, it’s about refining the draft you created.
- Rekka suggests finding local writing groups to continue the NaNo community write-in joy throughout the year and have a group of writing people to commiserate with.
- 50,000 Words in a Month was semi-arbitrary in its creation, but is roughly based on the shorter literary novels. If you told the whole story in the 50K and told it clearly and well, then you might be done, but chances are your book isn’t quite filled out, even at 50K.
- Your finished draft will need whatever level of revising it needs, so work toward that. First drafts are just raw material to work with.
- If you decide to shelve this draft, that’s fine, but keep writing.
- UNLESS the most important thing you learned in November was that you don’t enjoy writing. Rekka suggests that you go through the full book production process, just in case it turns out you love editing (maybe your secret power is structure or line editing!), or layout, or cover art direction. Play with the whole process and see what you learn about yourself.
- NaNoWriMo doesn’t mean National November Writing Month. Give it another shot later if you want.
- Don’t wait for next November to be a writer again!
Recipe for Brian’s Malaise Sauce
3 egg yolks (whites discarded)
4 oz butter
Combine them over low heat and don’t ruin it. Don’t salt or pepper it. Don’t use vinegar for zing. Don’t add the lemon squeeze at the end. Don’t even make this recipe. And don’t complain to us if you do.
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