I’ll be honest: I find it really hard to write after NaNo. After all that wonderful pressure and that wonderful deadlines.
Either way, I know how ridiculous it is to get back to writing after you give yourself a few days off, especially if you’re going to work on another project besides the one you were working on for NaNo. It’s trying to shift into a whole new world, a whole new mindset.
After a whole thirty days of pressure and creativity and words, I’m a little surprised that it’s taking me so much time to get back into the grove. So, here are some steps I’m coming up with off the top of my head to try and cope.
Have yourself a good cry.
NaNo is over. Yes, it’s sad. But don’t worry, it’ll come back next year. Believe me, I know.
2. Now get serious and figure out what you’re trying to do.
Are you getting into the edits you abandoned at the beginning of November? Are you tackling the first draft to a manuscript you forgot about? Either way, figure out what your goal is with this project. Your goal in November was to write 50k words, or maybe finish you novel in a month.
So put a name on your goal for right now, and give yourself a timeline/deadline. Mine is to get through one round of re-writes on Truth Remaining by December 31st.
3. Get in the Zone!
Give yourself a place to write, be it at your desk, chair, bed, whatever. It usually helps me to focus if I have a place (or places) that are safe for me to write. (generally not around people who want to have conversation with you. Those are not safe places)
Try listening to music as well, not just to get you in the zone but to get you focused on what you’re doing. Spotify is a great place to put together playlists of all sorts of film scores and other music.
4. Track yourself
I just discovered the other day Scrivener will track your daily progress if you set a deadline and how many words you want written! It’s really amazing.
But if you don’t have Scrivener, find a system that works for you. Jot down your word count each day, or something else. You could even make your own mini bar graph if you want, just like NaNo.
5. Reward yourself.
I’m the absolute worst at rewarding myself. I read a post about how you shouldn’t reward yourself with food because food is something your body needs and ever since? I’ve forgotten about it.
But your body doesn’t need cookies and ice cream or other sweet treats. So reward yourself with something, even if it isn’t sweetness…. maybe a trip to the library?
6. DON’T GIVE UP.
This is my most important tip. You have to choose to write, and you have to choose to not give up. You can track your words, find your goal, sit down to write… but you must actually choose to push past those feelings of “ugh I don’t want to write or edit,” and just do it.
Remember why you wanted to write this story in the first place, remember that passion and desire you had to write this thing in the first place. You had some at some point, otherwise you wouldn’t have written it.
Try boil your main theme/message down into one sentence. Make pretty aesthetic and quotes from your story to tape up on your walls (after, of course, you’ve written some today)
— Jeneca Z. (@jenecawrites) December 16, 2016