Three more days! Oh my!
In our last blog we learned what author Paula Flumerfelt did after she finished NaNoWriMo and pushed ourselves to keep going. With today’s blog we take another glimpse past Novemver 30th, that dreaded day we realize just how far we have come. Check out author Michael Young’s reasons as to why NaNoWriMo really shouldn’t be a one month thing.
The NaNoWriMo Aftermath
It has been five years since I started doing National Novel Writing Month, and it’s an opportunity I’ll never pass up. The exhilaration of doing so much writing in such a short time never gets old. I put aside other things and focus completely on my writing. It’s like a writing roller coast, barreling along at such speed that once it is done, it seems to have gone by quickly.
The question is, what then?
After NaNo is over, you hit December, with all of its holidays, parties, shopping, travel and other events. All things not terribly suited for writing. You get out of the habit, and then when the doldrums of January hit, old routines have returned. Wouldn’t it be nice to keep some of that November momentum going?
It isn’t going to happen if you don’t plan for it. Think about the things you do during NaNo that make it a success:
- You set a goal, and set it high. You make a goal that will likely make you stretch. You can’t just coast by with this one. It gives you a prize to look forward to, and helps motivate you to keep going a few more sentences, even when you are tired.
- You minimize distractions. In order to hit your writing goals, you probably spent less time on Facebook, fewer minutes with your phone, and might have even changed your sleeping habits. This extra effort likely went a long way to letting you cross the finish line.
- You take the time to plan out your path. Before setting out on your NaNo journey, many people take the time to make plans for how they will go forward. The truth is, planning is a great way to prevent writer’s block, and to help you write as quickly as you can. If you know what is going to happen next, at least generally, you can forge ahead with confidence.
My point today is that you do not need to leave these habits behind once the calendar reads December 1st. Sure, heave a large sigh of relief, pat yourself on the back, and share your accomplishment with your friends and family. Then, sit down and get to work. Figure out how your are going to do things going forward. What about your NaNo experience worked for you? What did not?
Which of the habits that you formed can you continue over the long run? Perhaps you need to set your goal not at 50,000, but at 20,000 words a month. Even keeping up that pace, that’s 220,000 words for the other eleven months of the year for a grand total of 270,000 words a year. That’s enough for several novels! (Unless you are an aspiring Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson.)
Good luck getting the finish line, my friends. But don’t make it the end, but rather the starting line for what the rest of your writing year is going to be.
Michael Young is the author of the fantasy, supernatural series Age of Archangels and co-author of the action, sci-fi collaboration Cardinal Directions. Other works include The Canticle Prelude and its sequel The Frozen Globe.
Both are available for sale through Amazon (eBook and paperback) and BigWorldNetwork (audio).
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed Michael’s pep talk and got pumped to stay–well pumped. 🙂 Don’t forget: Finish strong and keep going strong. See you all at the end of the race. 🙂