Now What?: What to Do After NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is over! You did it! Even if you didn’t complete it, you still participated and you still tried!

Getting 1667 words written per day is hard to do and not many people do it. If you won NaNo, I hope you popped some kind of celabratory SOMETHING!

But now you need to know what to do next. You’ve poured your heart and soul out into a novel and now you need to understand the next steps. So here are my tips on what to do in December, post-NaNoWriMo.



This is a concept that many authors don’t understand. They get done with that sloppy, non-proofread, not formatted piece of shit manuscript and think “I WILL BE PUBLISHED IF I SUBMIT THIS RIGHT NOW BEFORE ANYONE ELSE SUBMITS THEIR NANO BOOK.”

No. You won’t. You will go immediately into the trash.

Agents are often closed to queries during December, as their agencies often close for the holidays. It’s also really hard to sell a manuscript during the holidays as the publishing houses are trying to push the books they’ve already published so they can come in the black for the year. So agents have a hard time selling manuscripts anyway.

But trying to sell an untouched, first draft manuscript is IMPOSSIBLE. No one wants that. 

Don’t believe me?

Listen to The Print Run Podcast and Laura and Erik will tell you what’s up. They are agents. Who do not want your NaNo book.


Tip 2: Either start editing immediately or LEAVE IT FOR A MONTH. 

If you need the momentum, start editing right away, get a good head of steam and start polishing that mess up. 

But. If you’re anything like me, you need some distance to gain some perspective. That scene I thought I nailed? As it turned out it’s a big pile of crap. That scene I hated and was horrible to try to put on paper? Turns out, I was writing better that day than I thought!

The distance for a little while allows me to forget the moods I was in whole writing those scenes and focus on the craft itself. And that’s much better for the health of my manuscript. 


Tip 3: Start planning your next writing project

You know you’ve got one. Either it’s s brand new first draft that you want to start plugging away on while you’ve got the urge to keep writing, or it’s a different project that needs editing that you can smoke out while you marinate on the one from NaNo. (Marinate and smoke? I might need to go be Barbeque... and beer...)

Either way now is the time to knock another thing off your To-Do List Especially while you’ve got the bee in your bonnet. 


Tip 4: Start working on your 2018 Goals 

You should be thinking about your goals next year. Where do you want to be in your writing? Where do you want to be personally? Why didn’t you accomplish what you wanted this year?

Ask yourself a few questions about next year and figure it out. Write it down in your Bullet Journal for next year and aim for it. 

There are TONS of goal setting posts for Bullet Journalers and for writers. I’ll be showing you how I’ll be doing mine in a future blog post!


Tip 5: Write a really long Journal entry about everything you learned during NaNo

Processing by Journaling is really healthy. But you knew that. You’re here. And you’re a writer. You probably process what you had for breakfast by writing about it. 


Just me?


Anyway, processing what worked and what didn’t is a great way to figure out how to really thrash it next year. 


Tip 6: Pat yourself on the back!

Even if you didn’t win, you still deserve some congratulations. You tried. NaNo is hard! But the community during the event is always worth being around for.

So pour yourself a glass of wine, pull out a book or put on a tv show and relax. You deserve it. 

But tomorrow morning, it’s time to be a real writer and get another 500 words in. You’ve got stories to tell.


Thanks so much for hanging around with me during NaNo! I really enjoyed seeing you all on Instagram and Twitter and YouTube!

Did you know I had a Facebook page?

No. You didn’t. The only person in it is my mom. Go check it out and start talking! I’m going to be posting there regularly, so I’ll see you there!

Until then, 

Happy Writing!

-The Ginger Wordsmith 🐙