Well, there is only one day left in November. Chances are if you have been doing NaNoWriMo, you know if you are going to win. Whether you got to 50K or not, we need to talk about dealing with the end.
So did you make it? By the time this goes out, there will only be 31 hours left in National Novel Writing Month. For some of you this doesn’t matter because you crossed the 50K mark days ago.
Now if you’re at 47,000 words, you can still do it with a marathon cram session. If you’ve got less than that, then you probably aren’t going to win.
Now what? That’s the big question, isn’t it?
Let’s talk about a these scenarios.
1 – You Finished
If you finished, well done. Go out and get your reward. Buy a t-shirt. Print out the certificate and put it on your wall. Don’t forget to give yourself your rewards. This is important because it shows your brain you will do what you promise.
You did it, you wrote 50,000 words in less than 30 days. This tells you it is possible.
Now you’ve got some deciding to do. First, are you actually finished with your novel? My bet is that most winners got to 50K, but still haven’t finished the story. I know that is true for me, and if you are like me your plan is probably to just keep going. Keep trying to hit that same word target till you do finish the story.
If you are finished with the story, what should you do next? The advice I’ve heard the most is to put the book away for the month of December. Then pick it up in January and start revising. The idea here is to give your brain some time away from the work, so that you can see it with fresh eyes.
If you do take December off, here are some suggestions for how to spend the time. You know, now that you are a novel writer.
Work on a different story.
As a writer you probably have lots of ideas, you can take some time to work on another one. One thing to remember is you aren’t just writing one novel. You are writing your first novel. This is the beginning of something bigger, and this novel is just the start.
Start building your author presence online.
As an author and not just a writer, you are going to want to promote and sell your stuff. In this day and age, that means having an online presence. Developing an online presence is too much to explain in just a sub-point, but it is a lot like setting up a business, which I talked about in detail in my Money Flow Framework series.
2 – Almost finished
If you are under 3000 words left, then get after it and finish. Even if you are a day late, it will feel good to know you made it. Once that is done, you can follow all the winner’s advice I just gave you.
3 – Didn’t Finish
This is the tougher one. If you didn’t reach your goal, what are you going to do now?
First and foremost, don’t start hating on yourself. Things happen and you might have perfectly good reasons for not getting to 50,000 words. Give yourself a break.
And you might not have a good excuse. You may have been a slacker. You may have given in to procrastination until it was too late.
This doesn’t make you a bad person. Avoid generalizing this failure to your whole life. Instead say, “I didn’t get done. Why did that happen, and what can I learn from it?”
Doing this lets you take control of your life. You can make changes. I’d suggest you check out my goal setting series from last December. It gives a lot of tips on how to accomplish your goals.
But just because you didn’t finish, doesn’t mean you have to stop. Are you a writer? Do you want to be a writer? If so, them just keep writing. 50,000 words is arbitrary anyway. Just keep your habit going and you’ll eventually finish a novel.
Question of the Day: What are you going to do now?