Life After NaNoWriMo- What to Do Next


I know, I just did the whole post about What To Do If you Loose NaNo, but I feel like this is worth doing too.

Life after NaNo can feel kind off... listless.

You’ve just dedicated a month of your life to intense writing and now you feel itchy for not dedicating a portion of your day to writing. 

But you’ve taken all 21 days to dedicate to that habit, plus a few more and now you feel weird and itchy for not writing. 

Or you didn’t write all 30 days and you feel disappointed with yourself and you’re trying to come to terms with your NaNo Loss this year.

Either way, knowing what to do next FEELS impereative. And I’ve done a few of these blog posts before, but we are gonna take a slightly different angle...

So... what does your life look like after NaNoWriMo? 

You’re Itching to Get Back At It

If you won or lost, you are probably chomping at the bit to get back to writing. 

If you lost, you are probably interested in giving it another go. The cool thing is, you can NOW use in the OFF SEASON! You can even set goals for yourself. 

You can even do this in Scrivener, if you want. 

If you WON, you’ve set an addictive habit of creation and it might be hard to shake. There’s nothing wrong with this. And if you feel like you NEED to keep writing: DO IT. 

It takes 21 days to make a habit, and if you wrote every day for 21 days straight, you now have the HABIT!

CONGRATULATIONS! If this is you, LEAN into that urge HARD and enjoy that elusive feeling as much as you can! Write! Be productive! Show us all the wonders of your motivation powers! We all shall follow!

So, you can see that, even if you won or lost, you can still make the most of it. If you’re motivated to write, no matter what, lean into that feeling and be productive. 

You Have A Finished Manuscript and You Want To Send to Publishers


Please don’t do that. 

For one thing; other than a lucky few (J.K. Rowling and such) most of us have to go through agents to talk to publishing houses, because publishing houses don’t want to talk to us. 

For another; your book PROBABLY isn’t ready to be submitted yet.

I don’t know about you, but first drafts are NEVER my best. There are a few people who just get it out of their head and the more they mess with it the worst that it is. But I am NOT one of those. 

SO, it’s time to polish that turd just a little bit. 

I am planning on doing a blog post on my editing process, but basically you need to do at least 6 passes before you can submit. 

Most publishing agents are closed during December, too. It’s a weird tradition that they have and it’s too convenient for them to stop. Imagine not having to work ALL of December? That would make the holidays SO much less stressful. Or maybe more... because cash flows. 

So, you need to take December AND January to reflect on your manuscript, get it out and make little edits. Eliminate all your “very’s” and “said’s” and “that’s” and “suddenly’s”.

Have someone from your family look over the first thirteen lines of your manuscript to see if it grabs them.  Most agents (and readers) won’t read past the first page of a book if it’s not compelling.

Also, you can’t just send it to every agency out there. Most agencies only represent certain genres of books. So you need to do research into EVERY agent you want to submit to. Often, they will have a twitter profile with a link to their Manuscript Wish List. If they DON’T represent your genre or your book ISN’T on their list, you need to move on and find a different agent. 

After you’ve done a couple of editing passes, read up on the agents you want to submit to, you need to make a plan on HOW you’re going to query. I will be doing a blog post about that later, too.

You Have a New Project You Are Dying to Get On With

If the project is a new book, or maybe just a different project all together, working on it while it’s new and interesting is a GOOD thing.

I ten to have motivation in fits and spurts, so I know the value of striking while the iron is hot. So pull out that project and get rolling on it! 

If you think that it will take away from your editing process, then obviously, don’t work on it right away. Using other projects a s a distraction is never a good idea.

Maybe you need to use that project as a TREAT instead? 

Work on an editing task and then work on your new project, alternating as you get certain tasks done!

I’m also a huge fan of letting an old manuscript marinate and working on something else while I get some distance from the old project. 

But I’ve talked about all of that in lots of other blog posts! That you should go check out!

You Feel Like Your Bullet Journal Has Been Neglected

Also, something that I have been feeling lately...

December for me, because NaNo wasn’t so successful for me this year, is going to be about reconnecting with my bullet journal and working on my daily routines. 

Normally I would use that in January, but if I can’t connect with my routines during a busy month, then I won’t be able to during a dead one either. 

Reconnecting with your life after NaNo is a really good idea, especially since 2019 is coming up and it’s time to start making your 2019 Q1 goals. 

Sit down and look at November and see how you feel like your BuJo helped you and how you think it hindered you. Get rid of the things that didn’t work and improve the things that did. 

For me, the time tracker spread in my bullet journal is no longer effective for me. I spent a month or two using it to figure out how I’m spending my time, but now, I don’t need to because I’ve used it to it’s purpose. 

I don’t think I’ll be using my calendar blocking scheduler in my bullet journal anymore, because I have it all set up in my phone now! While I like having an example of that in my bullet journal, I don’t need it for every day anymore.

I’ll be doing a blog post and a video about my 2019 goals in a couple weeks so stay tuned for that!



Thanks so much for hanging out with me this afternoon! I hope your December is going really well! Let me know what YOU want to see with my 2019 BuJo set up in the comments!


Happy Writing! 

Zoe Fleischer

The Ginger Wordsmith

Zoe FleischerComment