The holiday does tend to interrupt the flow of writing time, but as we roll into this work week right after the holiday, it’s a great time to take a deep breath and reflect on where we’re at.
NaNo is nearly over. At this point, we’ve either hit the goal and won (Yay!), are on track to finish this week (well done!), or realize we won’t make it (the effort is not wasted!). But the day after NaNo is the first day of December, and that’s a writing day too. We can build on the momentum started in November and figure out what to do next.
Did we finish a story? Awesome. No matter how many stories I finish, that moment when I type END carries a sense of accomplishment unmatched by many other things. Of course, after standing and raising hands in the air in victory, the next step is to get back to work. A finished story needs to be edited, shared with beta readers, and a plan for publication finalized. Enjoy the milestone, and keep working it. The worst thing to do is to set the story aside and never do anything with it.
Did we make a lot of progress in a larger story that’s still not done? Excellent. Keep plugging away at it. After a concentrated writing effort, it’s often worth reviewing the plan for the story and making sure we’re still on track. Tweaking that plan may be necessary, and our writing schedule into the next month will probably have to change, but that doesn’t change the goal to get the story done. Keep writing.
Did we fail? If so, why? Did we have too many unexpected interruptions? Health issues? Did the story lose momentum? Did we realize that we didn’t have a clear enough plan, or that the story we thought we were telling wasn’t really the story that needs to be told?
Any of those reasons could derail a NaNo effort, but not the eventual success of the story. Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. If we can identify what went wrong, we can fix it so next time it doesn’t go wrong. So don’t get depressed, get determined.
And no matter where you are, don’t forget to breathe.
And keep writing!