Well Done You Made It
Getting to the end of Nano is an achievement in itself. Even if you didn’t hit the 50k and ‘win’, just writing more than you have done in the past is a massive step forward for any one who wants to be a writer. Doing it for one month shows your inner doubter that you CAN write most days. They can’t argue against it because you’ve done it and you can do it again.
So what now for your nano novel?
Well, some people like to put theirs away, forget about it for a month or two. Or longer.
Others want to keep at it and finish the thing. Keep that momentum going
My approach was to stop, put it away and come back to it in January, with a clear head and fresh eyes. I felt like I’d written a pile of rubbish, and yes, some of it was pretty bad. But in with the bad and downright ‘what was I thinking’ rubbish, there were glimmers of where my story might go, what my character might actually be like. There were also some new ideas that I liked and others that i immediately binned. But that is why I did NaNo – to clear out the crap and get some fresh ideas.
Returning in January meant that I could see past the words and into the story. I could start to build on it, removing the crap and adding to the better stuff. My original NaNo novel is now on its second version and it’s totally different to what i started back then. My hope is that in the future I can get the initial stages better and faster, and not have to take so long over it.
I didn’t do NaNo last year, and I didn’t join it this year either. The three years I did it were enough to show me that I CAN write when i want to and I CAN get past the mind moneys and gremlins. I know that I can write daily, that I DO have more ideas and most importantly, stories do CHANGE and shift as you go.
I have learned that even though it has taken me a few years, by sticking with it, (and even by going off to work on other ideas such as other novels and publishing short stories, before coming back to the first novel), I have formed a better story. I have grown as a writer, I have published non fiction and short stories. Will that first idea ever get published? Well, I intend to publish it, whether ‘traditionally’ or independently, it doesn’t matter.
I started the book 3 years ago, without that first Nano i wouldn’t have got past the first attempt because I needed to push past the barriers, both within the story and in my own head about whether I could finish a novel or not. And that is what Nano does, it shows you that you can write. And if you already know you can write, then it shows you can write more, or better, or different. It is a great way to try a new idea, chuck it all out and see if you actually like it.
I haven’t done NaNo this year or last year, but that’s not saying I’d never do it again, or a version of it at least. Because…why not!
Just imagine, sometime in the future, someone is reading YOUR book. The one you started for NaNoWriMo 2017.
For now, wear you t shirt, post your banners on social media, you are a winner!
You are a writer!