photo of notebook with pen

This is part three of a four part blog. Last week, I gave away my essential NaNoWriMo survival tips. This week, I’m going to take a look at the next steps.

Now that NaNoWriMo 2016 is almost over, we can take a deep breath and look back at what we’ve created. Have you achieved what you wanted to over the month of November? Can you look back at the words you’ve written and smile, knowing that you’re capable of achieving the impossible? Maybe you’ve even surpassed it?

If you found yourself petering out over the month, don’t worry – it’s 30 days long. 720 hours of forcing yourself to write an insane amount of fiction. That’s not normal. No one does that.

Whatever your experience of NaNoWriMo – even if you didn’t take part this year – the important thing to take away from the experience is that, if someone else can achieve something incredible, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same.

So, now what?

Now What? Months
Take a month out. Forget about your novel; forget about your plot. Definitely forget about the plot holes. I’m willing to stake my cat’s whiskers on the fact that never, in the entire history of literature, has an extended piece of fiction been completed in a single draft.

Getting the first draft down on the page is a frantic rush; it may even be a cathartic release. By no means does that mean you’ve got the finished article. January and February are NaNoWriMo’s Now What? Months. This is your chance to make a commitment to finish your novel. Visit the NaNoWriMo site, pledge to revise your novel over the coming months, and reap the rewards.

Go on. Do it now.

While you’re at it, if you know anyone else who’s been writing this month, encourage them to make the pledge with you. This is a chance to get your students involved in and thinking about writing the entire year through.

Camp NaNoWriMo
Don’t confine your writing habits to November. If you’ve arrived at this blog post, you’ve already proven yourself to be a creative individual. I’m sure you have a whole heap of amazing ideas; it’s unfair to hide away and deny the world your work. Keep writing.

Camp NaNoWriMo gives writers a further two opportunities to write throughout the year. Set your own word count goals, join a team of up to 12 writers, and spur each other on over the month to achieve your goals.

This is especially useful for younger writers. Knocking out an entire novel over the course of a month is a pretty tall order. Knocking out a novel over the course of three separate months? That’s a much more realistic prospect.

Be a promoter
Even the most social media-savvy of millennials might not have encountered NaNoWriMo before. If their friends aren’t doing it, how would they find out about it? Help to get the message out there to children by promoting NaNoWriMo in your school. Talk about it in lessons, put up posters, hold assemblies; however you choose to do it, just make sure they know that there’s an entire community out there solely dedicated to helping them write their novel.

Next week, we’ll take a look at what intensive writing programmes like NaNoWriMo can do to help younger writers.

Did you take part this year? What were your experiences? Let us know by commenting below, or getting in touch with us on social media.

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