NaNoWriMo is coming to an end, and you're probably wondering what you should do once it's over. I'm not going to tell you what you should do. I've personally won NaNoWriMo a couple of times, and I think I'm on a five year streak of participating. But here are some ideas, some suggestions, on what you could do once NaNo is over (based on what I've done, and has worked for me).
You've written 50,000 words. What now?
Take a break. I think you’ll find that so many people will reiterate this, but it’s important to give yourself a chance to unwind after the stresses of NaNoWriMo, while also letting your story sit if you finished it. It’s also understandable if you want to continue the story until it is finished, but after going 30 days straight, writing up to 1.7k every day, it’s alright to take the first week to let your mind resent, let the creativity well replenish, and let yourself catch up on some much needed sleep.
Read. You’re probably wondering ‘what? why do I need to read?’. From personal experience, you tend to come out of NaNoWriMo feeling extremely drained. Like you could sleep through December. You’ve also likely depleted that creativity well and now you’re probably thinking ‘I can’t write anymore’. That’s where reading (or consuming any other form of creative material, like movies or TV shows) comes in handy. Take the time to relax and, you know, participate in some self-care.
Have A Plan. I’ve found in previous that coming out of NaNoWriMo can be quite disorientating. You’ve had a rigorous writing schedule for 30 days, and you’ve likely finished your project. But now you don’t know what to do. I, personally, have found myself floundering and wondering what I should do next. This is why having a plan can be more than helpful. Don’t know what to do now? Consult the plan! Want to start a new project? Revise an old one? Continue the momentum of NaNoWriMo, and keep going if you can. Slow down. But have a plan.
Start Fresh. Did you finish your novel in November? Awesome! Now start again. If you’ve taken a break and have had some me-time, then you’re probably itching to jump back into a writing routine. So, start fresh. Either revise your book from NaNoWriMo, or start drafting new. I, personally, will be starting my final personal edits for my debut novel. Last year I actually started revisions for my debut novel as well. Actually, I was co-writing more, and drafting new projects. It definitely helped for when I went back to my NaNoWriMo project (last year) and will give me the much needed break I’ll need from this years as well.
Be Kind To Yourself. You didn’t win? That’s okay! You made progress! That’s awesome. Whether you got the 50,000 words or not, you still participated. Did you write every day and still didn’t win? Guess what? You committed and you stuck to a routine. You put the effort in and you did something a lot of writers struggle to do. But don’t come out of the month feeling like you didn’t do anything if you did.
That’s all for today! Have any other tips? Tricks that have worked for you? Throw them in the comments below!