NaNoWriMo 2014 is Over! Now What?

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This is it. The last day of NaNoWriMo. OH MY GOD! WHAT DO WE DO? HOW CAN IT BE OVER ALREADY? AHHHHHHHHH! Okay, now we’ve got that out of our systems, relax. Maybe you reached your word goal, maybe you didn’t. Like I said yesterday, I won’t be hitting 50,000 words, but I’m only a couple hundred away from beating my final count last year.

Maybe you wrote 100,000 words or maybe only 100 words. But that’s okay! That’s better than okay because that’s 100 more words that you may not have written if you hadn’t signed up for NaNo. But now what? You’ve got what you’ve written in front of you, whether it be a full novel, half a novel, or half a chapter. But what do you do with it?

Well, if you haven’t finished writing yet, I’m going to encourage you to continue doing that. Even if you didn’t finish it in 30 days, there’s a novel in you somewhere just waiting to be written.

However, if you have finished writing, I’m going to encourage you to put that novel aside. Wait, what? Put it aside? But there’s so much editing to be done if it’s ever going to be published! Yes, there is a ton of editing to be done before it can be published and I know how hard it can be to put it aside right away. Last year, the only edits my NaNo manuscript received was me going through it and fixing anything Microsoft had underlined in red. After that, it was put in a drawer for several months.

That was hard, it took a lot self-control to not pull it out and start editing every day. But it had to be done. Why? Because by putting the manuscript away and waiting to edit for several months, it allowed me to have a fresh perspective when I returned to it later. It was like I was reading it for the first time, which, in a way, I was. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. The mistakes and the plot holes! I’m crying now at the thought of it. But if I had started editing right after I finished writing, I wouldn’t have noticed those things the same way I did after waiting a while. So put it aside. Put that manuscript in a drawer and wait for as long as you can stand to and then edit.

Sure, look into agents and publishers because it’s fun and it’s good to know who is looking for what. Tell your friends you wrote a book because you did that and it’s pretty amazing! But take you time getting it off the ground. Especially if this is your first novel. You may not have any deadlines other than ones you set for yourself, so relish in that. Relax a bit while you can. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you wrote a novel! Congratulations! You did it!

*Throws confetti at you in celebration*

How did you do during NaNoWriMo? Doing any last minute writing today? What do you plan to do next?

 

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