Wiley Wednesday: Life After NaNo

Those of us who have done NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) share one thing in common, whether or not we actually completed our project or not: there’s a sense of let-down after November is over, a feeling of “what now?” Rest easy, writers; you’re not alone. There are others out there to play with, other projects to tackle, and other crazy goals to set.

A great place to look, even if you didn’t do NaNo itself, is the “I Wrote a Novel, Now What?” section on the main NaNo site. It has several sections useful to writers of all stripes:

Revision Advice – After the draft is done, the editing begins. There are as many ways to revise as there are to edit, and this section features excellent suggestions to make the process less painful.

Revision Pep Talks – never underestimate the power of a good pep talk! Marathoners and long-term Weight Watchers can tell you, attitude is everything; a good pep talk can help give you a well-placed attitude adjustment.

NaNoWriMo-style Events On the Horizon – I love this section! It is comforting, particularly in the first and second weeks of December, to find that there are others out there doing what you’re doing – or, in some cases, doing WAY more. There are blog-everyday-for-a-month people, editing people, and NaNoNotNovember folks. This is a great place to come to get ideas about where other writers hang out, and what you can do to keep up the madness of NaNo. Momentum’s a beautiful thing.

Novel Writing Contests Without Entry Fees – This is a great way to test your mettle. Many contests out there do not require entry fees and this is a place to find many of them. Not all of them are for novels, either – the Writer’s Digest “Your Story” contest is 750 words or less – a great way to prime the pump.

Some Thoughts on Publishing – This is a very useful section. Rather than pimping for the publishing industry, it contains links to some excellent advice sites, particularly helpful for avoiding scams.

More OLL Goodness – Last, but not least, this is the place to come to find out what else the crazy folks at the Office of Letters and Light (the organization that brings you NaNoWriMo every year) are up to.

Bottom line, if you love to write, there are others out there who love it too. Even if you don’t have an in-person writing group in your very own town, with the internet, you don’t have to. Writers all over the world connect and support each other every day. What are you waiting for? Get out there and write!

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