Rejoice, writers! National Novel Writing Month is over and you can put down your pens and legal pads. Or, just stop typing. Hopefully by Dec. 1, you have reached your goal of 50,000 words for your novel! If you did not meet 50,000 words, don’t worry–you still “won” NaNoWriMo! Some writing done is better than none at all.
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what’s next? What do you do with your novel? If this is your first time participating in NaNoWriMo, I have some recommendations.
Article by ChinLin Pan
You just accomplished an incredible feat—writing a novel! Even if you did not complete the novel, what’s important here is that you started the draft, and that is just one in many steps to come in your journey to becoming a published author. For now, just relax. Take a week off from writing. Catch up on homework, errands, reading, bingeing, whatever it is you love to do.
Embrace the holiday joys
No matter the genre of your novel, chances are you’ve been working with some pretty intense characters and scenes! Being in this mindset allows for your creativity and imagination to take over during NaNoWriMo, but now that it’s December, I encourage you to take in the holiday joys. Put on that Christmas music and decorate your living space (if you haven’t already done so). Write some Christmas cards to friends and family. Then, hit up the local mall or outlet and browse through the shops.
Give your draft to a trusted friend
This is daunting, I know! Depending on how much faith you have in your draft, you may or may not want to do this, but I argue that you’ll need feedback from a trusted friend at some point down the road. Why not start now? Constructive criticism is essential feedback writers need to improve their work. There’s no such thing as perfection, because there’s always room for improvement. By allowing a trusted friend to read your work, you are going to be opening up a part of yourself and it’s ok to feel vulnerable or insecure. Select a friend who can be unbiased and give feedback that you can use to help you later when you go back to finishing/re-writing/editing the novel.
Last, but not least—congratulations to all the writers who participated in NaNoWriMo 2016! Pat yourself on the back. Treat yourself. You’ve come a long way, guys!