What do you do now that NaNoWriMo is over?
Sure, NaNoWriMo will come again next year, but that’s still 11 months to wait. So what should you do to pass the time?
Well there are lots of things you can do now. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Finish Your Story (if You Haven’t Yet)
The official goal for NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in a month. It’s a big task, but for some people 50,000 words isn’t enough to finish a story. Usually novels are between 70,000 – 100,000 words long, so you may have a long way to go before the story is finished.
If that’s the case, you should start by working towards the conclusion of your novel.
If you’re only missing the last 20,000 words, then try and set a small goal to get to the end of your story. Try 500 words per day, just to pace yourself.
If that’s too easy then you can raise your daily goal. If it’s too hard, you can lower it.
If you’re writing just 500 words each day then it’ll take you 40 days, or a little over a month to complete your novel (assuming, you just need the last 20k words). If you need 50k more words, then it’ll take you 100 days, or slightly more than three months to complete.
Either way, it’s important to take things slowly and consistently. The burn out from NaNoWriMo can be rough, so don’t feel bad if you can’t write thousands of words each day.
Take a Break
Speaking of post-NaNo burn out, if the thought of writing anymore words makes your head spin and stomach churn, then it’s time for you to take a break.
December is the month of the winter holidays, so go connect with friends or family, enjoy the weather, relax, and take some time to refresh yourself.
While you’re taking a break, you might want to watch some of your favorite TV shows or movies, or read some of your favorite books. One of the best ways to recover from burn out is reigniting your passion with a heavy dose of inspiration.
You can also think of some writing goals for the new year while you take your break. January can sneak up on you, so make sure to write down story ideas, New Year’s resolutions, and any other thing that pops into your mind.
Make a Revision Plan
If you’ve finished your novel, the next step is to work out a revision plan. You don’t want to jump head first into revision, as it’s better to revise with fresh eyes and a bit of emotional detachment.
What you can do in the meantime is work out a revision plan. Research different revision and editing strategies, write down your favorites, and schedule things out.
By doing so, you’ll be able to approach your novel with fresh eyes and an attack plan, making the overall process go smoother.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of revision, then try taking it just one page at a time. Break your work into small tasks, so that you can work your way towards completing larger ones. Divide and conquer!
Prepare for Camp NaNo
Camp NaNoWriMo takes place twice a year, during April and July, so you have lots of time to prepare!
The nice thing about Camp NaNo is that you can set your own goals, and you don’t just have to set a goal for writing. If you want, you can set a goal to revise five pages each day, or edit for an hour each day.
You could also try writing a short story, working on blog posts, or making outlines. It’s all up to you!
Camp NaNoWriMo offers a lot of creative freedom, and interacting with fellow cabin mates is also a great way to make some writing friends.
Plan for Prequels or Sequels of Your Story
Sometimes stories need to expand out over series and sequels.
Or maybe you want to expand on events that transpired before your novel starts.
If that’s the case, now’s a great time to plan out a prequel or sequel to your novel!
Of course, don’t drop revision and editing for a shiny new idea, or put the cart before the horse, or anything like that.
But if you have ideas, you should write them down before you forget. Who knows, they might turn into your next NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo project!
Consider What You Want to Do With Your Novel
Do you want to go down the traditional publishing route? Are you considering self-publishing? What questions do you need to ask beta readers when you give them your novel?
These are all important questions for you to consider, and you should research your options before you commit to any major decisions.
Now that NaNoWriMo’s over, it’s a good time to revisit your writing goals and story plans. Make sure to approach things with fresh eyes and an open mind, and don’t be afraid to take a break if you need it.
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I blog about writing every Wednesday, so check back next week for some new content.