7 Steps to Take After “Winning” NaNoWriMo

7 Steps to Take After “Winning” NaNoWriMo

woman with symbol okSo you’ve completed your 50k words for NaNoWriMo and feel like you will never type again.  Now that you have just written a book (holy cow you just wrote a book!) what’s next?

  1. Put it away! Do not look at your book, open it, read it, send it to anyone, etc. Put that thing away and forget about it for at least a month. I suggest two, but I know how antsy the New Year makes people. Start your New Year with a just finished book, and attack it then! Now is definitely not the time.
  2. Be proud of yourself. What you did was amazing and you’ve proven to yourself you have it in you, whether this is your first “win” or “tenth” – every time you get to be just as proud as the last, and next.
  3. Keep writing. Ugh, seriously, can you even imagine writing again? But, you should. Not the book you just finished, but something else, anything else. Blog, journal, flash fiction, creative nonfiction essays, 300 word writing prompts – anything. Just keep at it – you will be much more confident approaching your NaNo book if you keep up your craft.
  4. Read. I doubt you did much reading last month – how could you? Every moment was spent writing. So now is the time to read again. Read for pleasure. Reading is the second most important thing a writer can do to strengthen his or her own work.
  5. Rewrite. Once it’s time to visit your MS again, read it through and begin your rewrites. These won’t be easy – but the book your just wrote is a FIRST draft, and not the draft anyone will ever see. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Then after you’ve done enough rewrites to last a decade…
  6. Get a critique. This can be with an editor, beta readers, writing group, etc. This should be done once you think you found all the “holes” per say in your MS and now you need another pair of eyes. Again, this will lead to more rewrites, so mentally prepare for this. But it will be the best kind because you know you are getting closer.
  7. Figure out your next steps – meaning your goal. What do you want to do with this? Hold on to it for safekeeping? Self-publish? Get an agent? Work with an indie publishing house? Once you figure that out, start doing the research to get there.

Is there anything you would add to this list? How did your NaNoWriMo adventure go?

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About Katie McCoach

KATIE McCOACH is a developmental book editor at KM Editorial, LLC working with authors to help them create their best story! Be sure to follow her on Twitter @KatieMcCoach.

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