This post was supposed to get done two weeks ago, but Cold, Family, Pregnancy, Still waiting to hear back from the guest I was supposed to host last week, etc. Choose an excuse. It didn’t get done then, but now it is.
So Camp NaNoWriMo has ended. Maybe you reached your goal, maybe you surpassed it by leaps and bounds, but maybe you fell short. But without those fun graphs and your cabins to motivate you, now what do you do?
First things first, celebrate! Whether you hit your goal or not, you survived! Take a pause to party!
Second, don’t stop writing! That is the worst thing you can do for yourself. Writers need to write every single day to keep their skills sharp. I had to end my Camp NaNoWriMo early because of my sister’s graduation, and then I got sick. And it led to a 2 week pause on my writing. It’s really hard to jump back in after a 2 week break. Really hard. Seriously, the only thing pushing me on in my editing is that I passed 40,000 words. But possibly another step is to take a break. Sometimes you need to get some space from your project and switch to something new. Especially when powering through a whole draft that’s really rough, you’ll need some time to collect your thoughts before jumping into editing.
But in order to keep writing, you need to set new goals! Just because you reached your Camp NaNo goal (or maybe you didn’t quite get there), it doesn’t mean that you’re done. So what are my new goals? Well, I’m still editing the third draft of Powerful, so I said that during the month of May, I’d edit another 12 chapters. That’s what I got done during April, so hopefully I can get it done during May, too. Make sure your goals are realistic so that you’re not overexerting your creativity.
Next, re-find your motivation. After spending a full month of working non-stop on your writing, you may feel a little burnt out. So don’t forget to take care of yourself. Revitalize your creativity by exercising, focusing on a second creative outlet, or something as simple as reminding yourself why you love writing in the first place. Read through your old writing to find new inspiration. These are just some ideas. I’ve made a longer list of ways to stay creative in an old blog post.
Don’t forget to back up your project. Seriously. Just go do it. Back it up in multiple places. I have a dog who likes to sit on my computer. Always back up your files in case a furry friend, spilled drink, or some other tragic accident deletes it.
And finally, get ready for July Camp NaNo! Whether you accomplished your April Camp NaNo goals or not, there’s always another NaNoWriMo around the corner and another chance to keep writing. But isn’t that why we write? So we can keep writing? And keep writing? And keep writing?
Anyway, keep being awesome.