Life After NaNo

If you participated in NaNoWriMo, take a deep breath, wipe your brow, and pat yourself on the back.

It’s over.

Whether or not you got to 50,000 words, you’ve accomplished something many people aspire to, but never actually accomplished: you attempted, and maybe finished a novel. Break out the champagne, because you should be proud. You had an idea, you wrote your characters, your setting, your dialogue.

And you probably became a better writer in the process.

This year was a crazy November for me. I plateaued after reading 27,000 words and didn’t write again for two and a half weeks. I almost called it a wash and thought I’d come back to my story once November was over.

Yeah right.

Instead, with three days remaining in NaNoWriMo, I sat down and banged out 6,309 words. I hadn’t written more than a sentence here or there for weeks when all of a sudden I banged out several thousand. I had several thoughts running through my head, but one was crazier than all the others: I could maybe finish this thing.

So the next day, I wrote 10,000 words. I had seven hours to sit at my computer, so did and typed until my wrists were sore, my hips were convulsing, my shoulders felt like they were about to detach from my back, and my brain felt like I’d experienced emotional trauma.

The final day of NaNo, I wrote 7500 words and finished NaNo with two hours to spare.

For the past week, I’ve been living in this euphoria of having unexpectedly finished a novel, one that had initially started a short story series but grew before my eyes to include characters who surprised me and a world that enchanted me. I can’t wait to share it with you.

If you’ve finished your story, even if it didn’t get to the word count, you’ve accomplished something incredible. But it can be a bit strange to all of a sudden go back to normal life holding an incredible feat like that close to your chest.

If you’re looking at your life a little differently now that you’ve got a full, complete story on your hands, don’t panic.

This is just the beginning.

As you go into the holiday season, take a few minutes to ponder the following questions:

  • What does this story mean for you?
  • What does it mean to have made the progress you did?
  • What do you want to do with this story now that it’s finished?
  • How will writing this story color your future attempts and accomplishments?

Happy holidays friends, and congrats on participating!


Alexis Truitt

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