You’ve spent 30 days writing your heart out. Maybe you hit 50K, maybe you didn’t. The point of the exercise was to write as much as you could, and if you even started – you ended up winning. Because winners are the ones who start hacking away at their dreams instead of letting them sit there, untouched. So many people don’t even start, but if you attempted NaNoWriMo, you tried to do something with your vision.
Re-entry to the real world isn’t helped by the fact that for most of the month we writers probably spent too much time (according to ‘normal people’ standards) inside a fictional world which we’ve been busy building within our own skulls. So… it can get a little bumpy as we stumble out of our caves and peer at the world as it’s lit by the harsh sunlight of reality. Top three pieces of advice:
- Save your novel, back it up, and step away from your keyboard. Even if your novel isn’t finished, but you still hit 50K, it’s time for a one or two-day breather.
- Talk to your family, friends, and loved-ones. Let them know you’re still alive and that you still love them. They may be feeling neglected, so it’s time to let them know that you still care… and are still more-or-less sane.
- It’s time to remember that you (probably) have hobbies other than writing. Maybe you have a dog that needs to be walked, a painting that needs to be created, a hat which needs to be crocheted, or even a different piece of fiction which could use your attention.
That’s it. It really is that simple: take a break, remember what makes you /you/, and it’s time to ease back into life as it was before NaNoWriMo.
I know it isn’t easy: you’ve been away. You may never have left the routine of home, work, and sleep – but you did something extraordinary. You went on an adventure, you experienced something different, and no matter how to choose to color it, NaNoWriMo probably changed you. Most non-writers have probably never delved so deep into the confines of their own heads.
The journey might have been dark or weird, exciting or peculiar, but you are home. Settle back into the comforts and familiarities of the life you left behind in October. String up some Christmas lights and get ready for the end-of-year festivities and the start-of-year revolution.
While I’m here and feeling generous, here are three more snippets from my NaNo project – entitled The King’s Philosopher.
- Enzo unbuckled his belt and collapsed into bed. “Go ahead. Try to tell me I’m going soft. Go into detail, please, while I’m thinking of places to stab you. Places that actually are soft.”
- “Well, we don’t want flattery, we want respect. Sometimes, with stars in her eyes and love muddling her head, a girl can mistake the one for the other.”
- Tears stung his eyes.
“Be good, Enzo Micheli.”
He took her hands in his and bowed. “Goodbye, Allegra.”