10 Things To Do After Nanowrimo

Winner-2014-Twitter-ProfileFor better worse, novel or no novel, Nanowrimo is now officially over and it’s time to think about returning to your normal life. Or your not-so-normal life, whatever the case may be.

If you’re at a loss for what to do now that you’ve finished Nanowrimo, I’ve got some ideas to help you out:

1. Relax. You probably already spent yesterday doing this, but if you haven’t stopped to relax and smell the roses yet, it’s about time you did. You just spent a month frantically trying to write a novel. You deserve a reward.

Plus, if you live in the northern hemisphere, it’s definitely a good time of year to curl up with a big mug of hot chocolate and catch up on your favourite TV shows.

2. Get some exercise. How often did you get out last month? How much did you walk around? Did you get to the gym or do a yoga routine at home?

If reading this is making you feel guilty about your lack of exercise last month–or you’ve noticed that you managed to gain some weight you’re really not comfortable having–maybe you should commit to taking a 15-20 minute walk every day this month, or otherwise exercising. After all, you don’t want to die of a stroke before you get your masterpiece published.

3. Go out for karaoke. If you think about it, Nanowrimo is actually pretty ridiculous. So why not make December the month where you do other ridiculous things?

You can gather up some friends and find a nearby bar to terrorize with some truly awful singing. Odds are no matter how big your town is you can find somewhere that does a karaoke night, and if not, maybe it’s time to invest in a machine.

4. Buy your loved ones gifts. Now that Nanowrimo’s over, we’re really closing in on the arrival of Christmas. And if you’re anything like me, you already have a good idea what you’re getting people for Christmas, you just haven’t actually gotten anything yet.

You might want to get on that before it gets later in the month. Malls are frightening at this time of year, and it gets a little bit worse every day leading up to Christmas.

5. Buy yourself a gift. Did you actually finish a novel? Write 50K but not actually finish your novel? Write something shorter that you’re actually proud of?

Odds are pretty good that if you’re reading this, you accomplished something awesome last month. You should be proud of yourself, and you should definitely reward yourself.

My present to myself this year will be a copy of The Prince Lestat, and I have a funny feeling a few of you will be getting yourselves the same thing.

6. Make some art. Do you like all the arts, not just writing? Or maybe just some of the arts?

If you’ve finished your novel, this is the best time to start a new creative project, while you’re still feeling energized because you accomplished something awesome.

7. Go on a date. Do you have a significant other? Did you spend much of the last month pretending they don’t exist so you could focus on your novel instead?

If you’ve been neglecting your romantic relationship(s) all month, maybe it’s time you took them on a date to show how much you appreciate that they stuck with you anyway. And as luck would have it, the first MockingJay movie just came out, so you don’t even have to think very hard about what your date will be.

8. Start learning a language. If you can write a novel in a month, you can do pretty much anything.

Odds are it’ll take you more than a month to learn a language, but that’s only more reason to start sooner rather than later. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll know another language, and the more languages you know, the more fun you can have traveling the world.

9. Read a book. When you’re trying to write a novel in a single month, everything else tends to fall by the wayside. But you’re doing this because you love books, right?

I bet you have a stack of unread books somewhere in your house. Make your goal for the month to shrink that stack significantly, and you’ll be well on your way to having a great December.

10. Write something else. You’re still a writer, right? Which means your work is never really done. I bet you’ve got tons of story ideas locked up in that brain of yours. Now is a better time than any to set them free.

You also want to make sure you start writing again this week so you don’t completely lose your momentum from Nanowrimo. One of the best things you get from Nanowrimo is the habit of writing regularly. Don’t let yourself fall out of the habit.

As for me, I’ve got some outlining to do, some blog posts to write, and a backlog of novels that need varying amounts of editing. So while I finished early and have already spent a few days relaxing, there’s always a lot more work to be done.

What are you going to do now that you’ve finished your novel? If you didn’t finish your novel, are you going to keep writing? Let me know in the comments section below!

2 thoughts on “10 Things To Do After Nanowrimo

  • Taylor Gray

    I’m thinking of watching some of my new DVDs that I got in the mail last night while taking the time to talk to people I have been neglecting during NaNoWriMo. Now that its over, better to talk to them now that I’m not frantically trying to pound out 50K on a laptop keyboard.

    My next step is to edit my novel that I’ve actually accomplished to write within the last month (and a day early to boot.) Once that is done I have some researching and outlining that must be done to get ready for April and July when I attempt to tackle Camp NaNoWriMo, and then NaNoWriMo next November. I have a lot of books swimming around inside this head of mine, best time to start to let them out.

    • dlgunn

      Wow, DVDs in the mail? Sounds like something from a past era…

      And don’t forget to send your novel out to beta readers after your first edit! Feedback is one of the most crucial parts of any writer’s career.

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