The end of Nanowrimo 2020
We have reached the official end of NaNoWriMo 2020 and I know many of you are thinking a variety of different kinds of thoughts about the experience. Before you get into your head too much, let’s take an assessment of what we accomplished here this month.
First of all, Nanowrimo is a huge goal. 50,000 words is a ton of words! If you completed the goal, congratulations! And if you didn’t, congratulations to you too. Writing is hard and subjective and you set out to do something laborious and difficult. That’s what counts.
Words of affirmation
I always like to say that the difference between having potential and manifesting a finished project is desire and practice. This month you went beyond your desire by taking actual steps on something. In time, you can’t help but be better because you are going far beyond what many others have done by doing something. Celebrate that win!
Now that we’ve reached the end of NaNoWriMo you may be thinking about what comes next. I know that’s the first thing on my mind after I finish a draft. I get excited, I want to read it, I want to know if I nailed it and the draft is ready to go to the public to read immediately! Spoiler alert: IT’S NOT.
Because you are so close to the work, I recommend that you rest on it for a bit before jumping into re-reading it. When you’ve been working on it so hard, it can be tough to see all the errors which will inevitably be there. If you give it a few weeks, keep chipping away or let it sit completely, you’ll feel a lot better about what you see when you come back to it.
Self-love is key
I can’t emphasize this enough. As writers, we can often get so far into our heads about our work. And this is a quality attributed to writers through the ages, not just us! But it is because these scared and irritated writers pushed through that we got some of the greatest pieces of literature in history.
Here’s an exercise I recommend for getting over whatever November did to you this year, because I know it did something!
- Now that you’ve reached the end of NaNoWriMo, celebrate your win! No matter how much or little you wrote for Nanowrimo, you did something. You put words on the page, you took steps toward your goal, you accepted the call.
- Read something. Now that you have written, rest. But make it an active rest. Read a book or ten in the genre that you’re writing in. See the quote from Stephen King that I think sums it up pretty well.
- Plan your next steps. Mark a date on the calendar no sooner than 4 weeks down the road to read over what you’ve written and when that time comes, read. Before that time, draft your outline, your real outline, and if needed, fill in missing gaps in your draft. That way, you will not be reading a mere shell of a draft but one that actually follows your goal.
- No, I’m serious, celebrate! If you have celebrated this win, please, DO IT. If the writing life is the life for you, you are living it right now! Applaud yourself. You are amazing.