You’ve pulled several all-nighters, consumed enough coffee to pay for your favorite barista’s college education, and typed your fingers to the bone—all to beat the NaNoWriMo November 30 deadline. Now that you’ve reached 50,000 words, you can heave a sigh of relief. Congratulations—you survived NaNoWriMo!
Now it’s time to turn your bleary eyes away from the monitor, back away from the keyboard and rejoin the real world.
After NaNoWriMo, What’s Next?
Take a break. You’ve dedicated the entire month of November to writing your novel. You deserve a break! Take time to do things your writing schedule didn’t permit you to do—go out with friends, cook a nice meal, maybe even read that book you were putting off. It’s important that you take the time to decompress.
Find other writers who are also experiencing NaNoWriMo withdrawal. There’s a large community of authors who participated in NaNoWriMo and they are going through the same symptoms you are. In fact, there is an entire message board dedicated to writers in this situation called Life After NaNoWriMo, where you can interact with other participants. Connecting with other NaNoWriMo authors is a great way to network and build relationships with other writers. Authors such as Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) and Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants) have participated in NaNoWriMo, so you never know who you’ll meet online!
Edit your NaNoWriMo project. Here comes the part every writer dreads but must eventually face: editing. After a few days (or weeks) away from your project, go back and edit all the typos you accidentally made, tie up any unintentional plot holes, and cut, cut, cut! It’s also a good idea to get a second pair of eyes to proofread your work. Ask your best grammar geek friend or let Writer’s Relief provide professional proofreading service.
Write shorter pieces. Do you still feel the creative juices flowing through you, but don’t want to commit to writing a larger work? Writing short stories is the answer! Shorter works allow you to hone your craft while still having time for other projects and activities.
One great challenge is to write a six-word story every day, which can be a fun way to channel your creativity into something new.
Additionally, many journal and magazine editors are on the lookout for short prose to publish. You can even take excerpts from your NaNoWriMo manuscript to submit as stand-alone short stories. Bonus: The publishing credits from literary magazines will boost your book’s appeal to potential literary agents!
Plan your next novel. It may seem crazy, but completing your NaNoWriMo project may inspire you to try writing another book! Planning your next novel is a great way to focus your creativity and prepare for next year’s NaNoWriMo—only 364 days to go!
Think about getting a literary agent. After you’ve edited, rewritten, proofread, formatted, and proofread (again) your NaNoWriMo manuscript—send it out into the world!
Carefully research and find the literary agents who would be interested in your genre. But if you’d rather be writing, reading, or doing anything besides the time-consuming chore of researching the right markets—Writer’s Relief can help! We’ll find the 25+ literary agents who would be most likely to be interested in your novel. Learn more here.
QUESTION: Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? What’s the next step for you?