5 Writer-ly Activities for the Post-NaNoWriMo Season

Monday, December 02, 2019
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 
Here we are post-NaNoWriMo. What are you going to do with yourself now? Here are five possibilities.

Keep Writing. Whether you worked on a young adult novel, a memoir, or a cozy mystery, even the full 50,000 words is not enough for a full draft. For a cozy or a young adult novel, you need about 80,000 words. According to literary agent Rachelle Gardner, a memoir can range from 60,000 to 120,000 words with the sweet spot for new memoir authors at 75,000. Regardless, it takes about six weeks to write daily through Christmas. By then you’ll have built a solid habit.

Put It Aside. Whoa, wait? Didn’t I just say keep writing? I did, but if you’ve finished a draft you need to put it aside for a while so that you can approach it with fresh eyes. Draft something new to build those writing muscles but don’t rewrite your NaNoWriMo project until after the New Year. Many writers need at least four to six weeks to let a manuscript rest.

Rewrite Something Else. Once you have your NaNoWriMo project drafted and have set it aside, rewrite something else, something you haven’t work on in four to six weeks. Rewriting, after all, is an essential part of writing. It gives you the opportunity to create the manuscript that you meant to create in the first place.

Write Something New. What if NaNoWriMo was your first major manuscript? You might not have something else that you can rewrite. If that is the case, once you have completed a draft you can start working on something new. This might be a good time for you to get to work on something new.

Read, Read, and Read Some More. One of the best ways to recognize good writing in your own work and in that of others is to read good writing. Check out best-selling books and award-winning books in your genre. My library has a winter reading challenge that started December 1. To complete it, I have to earn five “badges” which include reading a best seller, a favorite author or an author who is new to me.

What am I doing? I never work on any single manuscript at a time. I will continue working on the cozy that was my NaNoWriMo project. Hopefully by the end of December I’ll have 50,000 words. I am also going to rewrite a picture book manuscript that I put aside about 4 weeks ago. And that reading challenge? No worries. One badge is for reading an author who is new to me. Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, a translated novel by Olgo Tokaczuk is sitting on my bookshelf waiting.

NaNoWriMo may be a thing of the past but December gives us four more weeks of writing time in 2019.


To find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards' writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  Sue is also the instructor for  Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins  January 6th, 2020. 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--While I let my half-finished "Save the Cat" outline rest (I know. I should finish it, but I've only just recently emerged from my sluggish state. I don't want to shock myself by coming out at rocketlike speed), I'm mulling over a picture book idea (nonfiction) I have.

Let me know how that book is. The title alone intrigues me...

Margo Dill said...

Good advice, Sue! And good luck with all your projects.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Thank you!

I will. I think this is my first Polish novel.

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