Monday, 3 December 2012

Life After NaNoWriMo & Other News

If you took part in NaNoWriMo and completed your 50,000 words - or a figure near to it - December is an odd time. Some people wake up on December 1st and carry on writing, having discovered they do have the discipline needed for daily writing. They may cut the daily figure to a more managebable amount but they will write. Others find themselves exhausted for a few days and then return to their usual routine. Most people probably throw themselves into the areas of their life they've neglected for 30 days, such friends, family, housework, and other writing projects.

I will be balancing all the extra demands December brings with the personal issues I raised in my last post and my first short story collection that will be published on February 11th next year. I'll also be polishing the first chapter of my NaNoWriMo novel before sending it for the agent critique I won in October. So, I will be just as busy.

Post-nano, people respond in different ways. However, most participants will put their 50k away for a so-called break and promise to return to them in the New Year. But do they? How many of them will simply file it under 'Maybe One Day'? How many wait for November the following year and just start a new project?

If you're one of those people who will or has shelved your 50k, does that mean the time you spent writing during November was wasted? Yes, and no. Writing the 50k required to win NaNoWriMo means writing at speed. Unless you are blessed with the remarkable ability to write a near-perfect first draft, it will be poor. The story will be there but plot and grammar bunnies will be snarling at you on every page. They'll try to bite off your fingers and warn you never to come back. If you let the nasty little critters that together form 'Self-doubt' win, November will have been a waste of time. Don't let them beat you. Those 50,000 words can be re-shaped, cropped, added to, and edited until they are near to perfection.

But if taking part has revealed a joy for writing you never knew existed and/or has taught you the discipline needed for daily writing, even if you do shelve your 50k, it wasn't a waste of time. You will continue to write. You will make the time because you now know writing is just as important to you as many other keys areas of your life. Re-choice in the knowledge that you have not wasted your time, and that you do have the fortitude and strength to see a project through from beginning to end. Finally, remember a shelved project can be returned to at any time.


Other News:

Don't forget to call back Wednesday, when the awesome David P. King will be my Speculative Fiction Writer guest. I still have February 6th, 20th, and 27th free, if anyone is interested in being interviewed by myself or would like to write a guest post promoting their book, website, or any other aspect of their writing. 

This Thursday sees the launch of Writers4Writers, a new initiative to help promote an authors work. This month's spotlighted author will be Nancy Thompson. Visit the W4WS Facebook page to learn more.

Now go. Write. Share with us what NaNoWriMo and other time-intensive projects have taught you. Tell us your plans for December and beyond.

40 comments:

  1. Hosting him on IWSG day - good timing!
    I kept working the year I participated in NaNo. That project became my second book.

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  2. I don't have any plans to do anything with the horrible novel I wrote this past month. Don't get me wrong, it was fun to write, but I was no-holds-bars writing, just spewing out words, with no intention to do anything with it. It was sort of freeing!

    Starting tomorrow, I'm going to begin researching a novel that I do intend to make into something, and then begin writing it shortly after that. My goal is June 1, have it written! Probably not edited, but at least the words will be there.

    NaNoWriMo taught me that I could balance everything still and be able to write.

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    1. Sounds like NaNoWriMo has given you the confidence to start the novel you want to write. I'm thrilled for you. Don't discard what you wrote in November, though. You never know what you might be able to do with it in the future.

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  3. Firstly, I want to congratulate you on completing NaNo. That is a feat and something to be proud of. I did not participate this year. I'm in the middle of a few projects, plus waiting for the deal with my first YA novel to be finalized. I will tell you, though, that I can't imagine spending all that time and energy completing a work of that length and not using it in some fashion. The value might be found in a character developed or the world created. It might be that parts of the story can be extracted to make a heck of a great short story. Whatever it is, I'd definitely find it and use it.

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    1. Well said! And congratulations on your YA deal. Very excited for you.

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  4. I have a hard time with the first draft, but I love the editing process. I feel that is where I do the real story writing.

    Congrats on finishing :)

    ...........dhole

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    1. I love the first edit. It's magical how you can transform an idea into a story.

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  5. I got so stinking close...47k but couldn't make that final push. I got stuck toward the end and wasted several days trying to figure what was going on.

    I have shelved it. I like it but need a little break before I dig back into it.

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    1. 47k is so close and an awesome word count. You should be proud of yourself!

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  6. I don't think you can really know what you've got until you start the revision process, but it can feel even more daunting than nano itself. I'd definitely give it a few weeks before getting stuck in though.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. It's always worthwhile taking some sort of a break because you can return to the words with fresh eyes. But not too long, though!

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  7. Hi Ellie - well done .. you've achieved so much in the past year ... good for encouraging us to push on. Cheers Hilary

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  8. I'm in awe of all who finished. Amazing achievement.

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  9. Huge huge congratulations on your NaNo win!!! I read in your last post how you've had such personal struggles to contend with and yet you triumphed!! Yay!!!

    I hope you have a most creative and fun December! Take care
    x

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  10. I appreciate your post. I am struggling to love my current WIP and can't decide if it needs to be put up for awhile (again) or just really tackled with revision.

    Looking forward to Mr. King's post-- he's always informative and highly entertaining.

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    1. That's a tough decision, Julie. I'd say put it aside for a while but not for long!

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  11. It's definitely hard to get back into the swing of things after NaNo. Good luck!

    And thank you so much for spotlighting me and The Nightmare Collection this week! :D

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  12. I got a good start on my project with 16,000 words under my belt. So even though I came nowhere close to the goal, I have a better idea of what I want to do.

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  13. I'm hoping to take a few days break and then get back to finishing the draft of my novel. It is tricky getting back into the swing of things!

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    1. It sure is. It's nearly the end of December and I've not gone near my NaNoWriMo novel.

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  14. I didn't do NaNo, but have been working to finish my next release, Backworlds #3. Deadlines are mighty helpful for motivation, I find. I added a solid 30K to my project over November and should finish up soon. I will meet my deadline. So yay.

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    1. Deadlines are the best way to beat procrastination. Good luck with your goals.

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  15. Good points about Nano. I didn't do it, and may not ever. We'll see. November is a sucky month for me to do something like that.

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  16. I do love your post about post-NaNo. This is my fourth year, so I'm a bit used to the leftovers from the month of novelling, though this year was a very off year.

    My NaNo 2012 project has been put onto the shelf to be re-written at a later date. It needs a ton -- TON -- of rewriting and editing, but I am looking forward to when I can pick it up and go through it. As for December, I'm working on the last(ish) story in my Christmas series, and that is going well. I usually try to jump into something else after NaNo; I'm the keep on writing writer.

    I would love to do an interview on one of your empty spots in February, if they're still available, and maybe a bit of a post about writing. :)

    Best wishes with your post-NaNo. :)

    Alexandra~

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    1. Hope your Christmas series is going well!

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  17. Grammar bunnies snarling and trying to bite your fingers off made me laugh!

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  18. Best of luck with that collection and the post-NaNo polishing and all the other stuff. And congrats on completing the NaNo course. I'm in awe of anyone doing that.

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  19. One reason I don't join in is because now I am retired, I do not have to write to order and only do it for fun. Fun does not include forcing myself to run to another deadline when I really don't have to, but congratulations on completing it. I have written one novel for fun, but it took me a long time.

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    1. I can understand that, Snafu. For me it is good because it forces me to put everything else second for a while.

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  20. I'm always impressed with anyone who has achieved a nano novel, since one of the disciplines of novel writing, (which I have yet to master) is actually finishing a novel.

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