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  • Karina Sokulski

Post-NaNoWriMo: At NaNoWriMo's End

Nanowrimo's come to an end again this year, and for many this was a year of first-time victories! This year I was thankfully gifted with the time to claim my second victory in a row, which ultimately came smoother than the first. I say this of course, not to brag, but to shed light on two very different NaNoWriMo experiences I had and what little nuggets of advice I found in both.

Before I get to that though, let's tackle the first order of business. Whether or not you claimed a victory this year, congratulations!

No, seriously.

This challenge is whatever you make it, it doesn't matter if you got to 50,000 words or not. You pushed yourself, as a writer, to advance on your latest project. You invested in your career, your craft and most importantly, your passion. This challenge is a big one for so many reasons than those, but you get the idea. Wherever you've landed on your NaNoWriMo challenge, you advanced a little (or a lot) further on your novels and are ready to keep it going.

If you did make your 50,000, great work! You'll either be spending December beginning the editing phase or, if you're like me, seeing that 50,000 words as another step closer to completing your novel. Which ever one it will be, don't sweat it and use December 1st to give your brain that much needed vacation from writing.

Back to those who have yet to achieve that 50,000 victory. First of all, I'll just repeat myself: don't be discouraged, next year will definitely be your year and I'm about to tell you why. I mentioned in earlier blog posts how typing 1,667 words a day is the key. I mean that. I used this method both times and now can say that the method earned me a second victory.

However, I did mention at the beginning of this blog post that I was gifted with extra time this year to complete my challenge. What do I mean by that? Well, let me compare my first and second NaNoWriMo victories and you'll see what I mean.

Last year, I earned my victory on the very last day. I paced myself as much as I could, but I won't deny that I did panic at the last minute because my busy work schedule was making it nearly impossible to keep up. What was that schedule you ask? Here's everything I was doing at the same time as my first NaNo challenge: I was working two jobs, one at a Dr. Cellphone and one at a yogurt shop. Both were part-time jobs but the hours for each were set right after the other, so it was really like having a full-time job...with intense holiday hours (don't forget, this is November we're talking about).

On top of this, I got married in April of this year so I was obviously planning my wedding at the same time. So between scheduling my bridal appointments, and working my dual job hours I still had to make time for my NaNo challenge. I pulled all nighters during all of this stressful insanity (at least by my definition) because I was determined to say that I won.

Was I the busiest person on earth? Nah, there are obviously people out there who had just as busy schedules if not more. My point is, I set time aside above all else to get it done, it took a lot of determination.

Let's look at this year's victory. I was already married, I worked from home at my previous job and had much less of a hectic schedule to deal with to get my NaNo victory.

What's my point? That I definitely feel that my first victory was much more earned than this year's, because I really had to struggle and work for that first victory. Having that kind of pride is another part of why NaNoWriMo is so worth it. Now, here's the advice, plain and simple.

If you did not make the 50,000 this year, then vow to push yourself as much as you possibly can next year because sometimes that's what it's going to take. You have to asses your schedule and figure out what obstacles you're going to have to overcome to get your win. This probably all sounds like common sense, but it's what's required if you want to get that win!

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