Okay, NaNoWriMo is over.
If you completed your 50,000 words (and if the Twitterverse is anything to go by, a lot of people did), congratulations.
If you didn’t…don’t give up.
Think back to the beginning of NaNoWriMo and the fresh faced young author eager to prove to the world that their story was worth telling, worth reading, maybe even worth publishing. If that enthusiasm is still there keep hold of it. If it’s gone or life has worn it down to a less exuberant level, nurture it. Think about what you love about writing and what prompted you to attempt NaNoWriMo in the first place and try to rekindle that spirit.
Imagine your story out there in the world being read by thousands of people. Imagine the joy you’ll bring. Imagine the huge advances if you like (although I hope there’s more to your interest in writing than money).
Whatever it takes, don’t stop writing.
What THEY Don’t Want You To Know
I’ll let you into a secret…There’s actually no rule that says you can only commit to writing during November.
Shocking, I know.
And guess what, even if you did complete your NaNoWriMo novel (and congratulations again by the way), you still don’t have to stop writing.
It’s true – you can write all year round if you want to!
If you don’t feel comfortable trying to write 50,000 words a month, that’s alright. In fact, it’s probably a sane attitude to take. But set yourself some sort of target. When I’m writing a novel I aim for at least five hundred words a day. That takes about an hour for me but could be considerably less for you NaNoWriMo authors.
Whatever the number, commit to something – a daily or weekly or even monthly word count. Tell your friends and family or total strangers on Twitter what that goal is, then hold yourself accountable to it. Every time your target seems unattainable, remind yourself how much you want to write, how much you enjoy it. Then sit down at your PC or your laptop or typewriter or quill and parchment and write.
Try to get yourself into a routine or look for ways to wake up your muse. Every writer is different, find what works for you and run with it.
Find an online writing challenge and use that to kick start your creativity if you want to.
Stick to the NaNoWriMo rules if you want to.
Post your progress on a blog or Twitter if you want to.
Use a book to inspire you if you want to.
Throw out your editor and write whatever comes into your head if you want to.
Use a kitten related writing tool if you want to.
But whatever you do. Write.
Finishing a novel is immensely satisfying, just ask anyone who’s done it. A month ago you were determined to do just that, what’s changed?