What to Do After #NaNoWriMo

We’ve spent thirty days writing as many words as we could, hoping we’d reach 50K words. Now it’s December, we’ve either reached our word count or are no where near.

I know that the actual website for NaNoWriMo has a “Now What?” tab but they focus more on those who’ve finished their novel and are moving on to bigger and better things (sometimes a different novel and sometimes editing). That tab is super helpful and I love reading all the information NaNo gives, but I wanted to give you all a few tips from someone who ahs been doing NaNo for over 10 years (and failing frequently).

Finish the Story

50K doesn’t mean the story is always finished or if you only made it to 25k, etc you still have a way to go. You might be bummed that you never finished or that you still have words to put down, but I recommend not stopping if you can help it. If you have a sizable chunk of your story down, use December as an extended NaNo and get all the words down.

Note, that I said sizable amount of the words down. For those of you who are like me and only got a few thousand in place before hitting a huge road block, I have some advice farther down.

Hold Off On Editing

A lot of people spend December editing their newly created novel, but I don’t usually recommend it. If you want to read through it quickly and make notes (I highly recommend making notes of changes you immediately think), that’s fine. But I recommend stepping away from your novel for the month and edit in January. You need to let your novel breathe, letting you see your novel as a reader and not the person who just put the words to paper. Plus, December is usually even busier than November.

Take notes on your immediate thoughts, and then separate yourself from it for a few weeks. It’ll be good for both of you.

Reset Your Plot/Plan

If you didn’t get crap done in November, take time to reset your goals or your plot. For me I’m basically better researching for my workbooks I’m creating. I’m asking feedback from friends who run business for what they want in a marketing handbook, and from my writing friends for what they want in a writing handbook. These are my two writing goals for the beginning of 2021 and using December as a reset/planning month is perfect.

You can scrap everything you’ve written or just reflect on why November was so hard to complete. I had a lot of things bothering me. So I’ve assessed it all and found a better way to move forward with my work. I am positive that the new year will bring me more focus and I’ll get these projects done.

Looking at a blank page provided by John Schnobrich

Those are my three main suggestions for December. I think it’s best to just let your mind relax and give yourself a break if you need it or keep pushing if this is the best momentum you’ve had all year! I know it’s very broad but each of you have goals you want to take care of and there isn’t one correct way to do it.

Let me know, in the comments below, how you plan on spending your December? Do you have more writing goals? Are you catching up on your reading goals? Are you going to spend time with family (safely of course)? I would love to hear from you below.

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