…it is now.
NaNoWriMo is done and dusted for another year.
Right now you’re probably sobbing into your novel for one of two reasons. Either you ‘failed’ (you can’t fail – Failure is not an option) or you’re so damn happy you finished you can’t contain yourself.
Whether you’re celebrating or commiserating the end of the challenge, it’s important to remember one thing:
I know it’s tempting to take a month off, or ‘sleep for a month’, but the longer you leave it the harder it’s going to be to get back into it. You’ll take December off because of all the “Christmas stresses”, then you’ll hit the old “I need a holiday to get over my holiday” and write bugger all during January. When you finally pick up your novel in February or March you’ll be so out of touch with your regular routine it will be a bitch to get back into it. Without the support of NaNoers (which you will have but not in the same vein as November), you’ll struggle to keep motivated.
But if you never stop in the first place? There’s nothing new to learn, you’re already used to putting time aside each and every day to pen some words. You’ll know where your story is heading and all those flashes of inspiration are still sparking and vibrating inside your brain. Instead of having December off, why not use that time to double your word count? Or, if you don’t need that many words, to reach a logical and satisfying conclusion to your tale?
When you’re finished with a first draft (or zeroth draft as mine are) you should always put your story to the side for a while. Give yourself some distance from the words so you can edit them honestly and impartially.
But that doesn’t mean you have to stop writing. Why break the habits you’ve formed over the past couple of months when you can start writing something new? Just because you have to put some distance between yourself and your November lover, doesn’t mean you can’t strike up a new temporary relationship with another book, you word slut, you.
Why not try a different approach in December and write by yourself for a while instead of meeting the group? Head off to a quiet café or a peaceful pub and grab yourself a caffè mocha or a cheeky pint. Take time out from everything to sit and be one with the words [ommmmm].
Don’t stop me now (’cause I’m having a good time)
Don’t stop me now (yes I’m having a good time)
I don’t want to stop at all… yeah!