The hardest thing, following NaNoWriMo, is to keep writing.

It’s also, obviously, the most important thing. Especially if you’re not done with your story, as I am (err… not).

I suppose that the problem arises from that end-of-the-month, oh-my-god-it’s-over-lets-celebrate release:

  • You take a day off.
  • The day after that, a new game release comes out.
  • The day after that, you need to hit the gym to work off some Thanksgiving goodness.

… and whenever you think about the WIP, your mind automatically associates it with the binge-writing you sometimes had to do during November.  That’s not an association that makes you want to sit back down.

I approach this downshift by easing into what is (for me) a more sustainable, remember-I-have-a-day-job-that-is-also-writing pattern: one solid scene a day, or a couple pages, whichever’s less.

If I write more than that, fine; it’s the pattern I’m after, not the picture. I owe it to myself — in part because I really think this Adrift thing has some serious legs.

How about you guys? I wanna hear about what you’re working on.


12 Replies to “The hardest thing, following NaNoWriMo, is to keep writing.”

  1. You know I know folks who only write for Nano…I know folks who realized after Nano they don’t want to be writers.

    But lots of folks struggle to continue.

    This year I have my critique group to go back to…and I encourage others to join one. Keeps you honest.

    My friend and I have started meeting Monday nights to write together.

    And in two months…I’ll be a writer full time. Can’t stop writing now!

  2. I really should be in a critique group, or something like it.

    I know, I know… you already sent me a thing about one. I’m lazy, and it’s faaaaar. *whine*

    I had an excuse last year of needing to get back to agent notes on revisions. I don’t (yet) have that excuse this month, so it’s back to the story.

  3. I’ve only got about 2 chapters left to write on my NaNo Novel. Then I’m taking a break and editing book one (a book that took me 1.5 years to finish) so I can send that out to beta readers in February. Then to edit the NaNo Novel and see what comes of it.

    That’s the plan anyway. It is in no way binding or contractual so it may or may not happen.

    But I am writing 500 words a day. That’s enough to finish the NaNo novel by New Years eve.

  4. Yep: 500 words a day is pretty much where I’m at: 2 pages, minimum.

    In fact: it’s lunch break, time to tappity tap. :)

  5. I kind of used NaNo to jump start my habit. Sort of like going off the wagon, then jumping back on.

    I didn’t finish, but it re-energized me. So I’m aiming for 1,000 words a day, either before work or after. Or an hour at the computer, whichever comes first.

  6. I’m 61k into my NaNo book and about a dozen scenes from finishing it (okay, closer to 20, because I know stuff will crop up that’s not in the outline). Once I’m done with that, then it’s on to the second book in the seven book series. I’ve got a rough outline written for book 2, and I’ll be editing book 1 while writing book 2. Then on to book three by Groundhog’s Day, and so on until I get all 7 written by Labor Day/DragonCon.

    It’s been a struggle to keep my 2000 words a day pace going without the NaNo community. But this is what professional writers do. If I want to be a professional writer, the first step is to be a professional writer. That is write at a professional level. So I keep going.

  7. I’m always so full of creative energy after NaNo (and after finally getting enough sleep after NaNo) that I always keep writing. This year I finished my novel within November, so instead I’ve broke out last year’s novel, dusted it off, and started re-reading it to get a big-picture type of view on it. Then I’ll start editing. And in January my critiquing group starts meeting for the year and hopefully I’ll have a fully edited novel by next NaNo.

  8. I actually have a full time (plus) job already… but after Nano I found I really enjoyed writing. Some folks go out and run or hit the gym to relax, but I found that writing really helped with the mental stress. I figure I’ll need another 25,000 words on my Nano story before it’s done, but I’m not going to touch it till next week. When it’s time to let that story “simmer” before editing, I’m going to try my hand at another story that I’ve been cooking up. But these two, and all of the associated editing, are going to have to last me until November next year!

  9. Writing rocks with momentum, and momentum can build slowly — so this is a good post to remind people how to exercise the resting muscle and build back to momentum.

    As always, thumbs-up.

    — c.

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