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NaNoWriMo Tips Series (#3): The Aftermath - NaNoWriMo is over, so what did you learn?

Writing a novel is a process. As a writer, you learn by trial, error and practice, what works best for you. During NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I think most people who attempt the 50,000 word feat find out a few facts about themselves as a writer, including but not limited to the five facts below:


1. How much you can truly do when you push and believe in yourself. 

This is my third time participating and winning NaNo. Although I have never not written 50,000 words, I still am amazed I can do it in one month. Every time it's like discovering I have a secret superpower when I challenge myself.


2. If you attended write-ins, you learned when you write surrounded by like-minded individuals, it helps your spirit. 

You also might have learned during writing downtime, when you were socializing; what other people were writing, useful tips for completing NaNo or you met lots of cool people.

3. You learned what kind of writer you want to be. 

Plotter or panser or a little of both? Writing during NaNo is the first dump of your idea whether you've plotted or not. When you start going back through that novel this is when you'll figure out what will work best for you in the future. This is where you'll figure out what type of writer you want to be.

4. You have been convinced you need writing in your life. Right? 

I had been seriously writing since 2010 and found NaNoWriMo in 2013 but still the idea of a novel writing month made me want to be a writer. To actually make a career out of it. Now with 2016 approaching I am finally in a place after three years of NaNo to query my novels.


5. You realize writing takes time. In the upcoming year make it your duty to carve out that time. 

Think about how an hour of focused time got your word count up. Set aside time and make the most of it. Writing is time getting to know yourself and exploring what's bubbling and brewing inside that imaginative head of yours. The stages of writing (idea, plotting, drafting, editing, critique, etc.) can be brutal and take time. Once you start shaping a story, the best feeling is to see it through, to continue reshaping it until the story shines. 

Last note: Unless you are 5,000 words and below from finishing your novel, put your novel away. Take the rest of December and maybe some of January to look around you and enjoy life. November was crazy and whatever you accomplished, it was more words than you had before you started. So give yourself a break. And
don't pitch your book on #pitmad or query agents. A book written in thirty days will never be polished so wait to show it to the world. Please. 


Here are some great revision links that might help you when you are ready to revise:

Happy Writing and Revising!


  1. Great post! This really captures the essence of so much that's awesome about NaNoWWriMo. And I love the superpower analogy--it really does feel like that!! :)

  2. Thanks Michelle. I enjoyed your blog about what kind of writer you want to be: - thanks for checking out mine!


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