NaNo 2015 — After the End

NaNoWriMo 2015 officially ended at 11:59 on November 30th. This year’s challenge was an especially successful one for the Pakistan region – Shield-Nano-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiResall told, we had 113 active participants and of those, 27 ‘won’ NaNo by crossing the 50,000 word mark.

This is a fantastic accomplishment! The NaNoWriMo/DWL write-ins in Karachi and Islamabad turned out to be great successes, with dozens of writers coming together to compete in sprints and word wars, as well as look for advice and commiseration over the hurdles that NaNo can bring. The forums on both DWL and the NaNoWriMo site were hoping with folks sharing progress and celebrating each other’s accomplishments, especially as members started crossing the word count threshold, and you could occasionally find our fellow writers reaching out on Twitter and Facebook as well. The community aspect of NaNo brings much needed warmth and light to the lonely occupation of bashing a book out.

If you ‘won’ NaNo – congratulations! I know as well as anyone else what a challenging proposition this goal is – writing 50,000 words at a sustained pace is no small feat.

If you didn’t manage to hit the mark, congratulations to you too! Whether you had 70,000 words or just a couple of hundred, you have more of your novel written now than you did when this process started. You should be proud of yourself. Embrace your word count. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a hearty cheer. No negative talk about quality, quantity, or unmet expectations allowed.

Have we all had a chance to congratulate ourselves? Did we all get to enjoy several days of post-NaNo laziness, catching up on TV, videogames, or unread books (or perhaps rejoin our neglected families and friends)? Yes? Good. Get back to work.

November 30th shouldn’t be the end of your creativity for the next year. You should be capitalizing on the momentum you’ve built in the last month to propel yourself forward. The physics rule ‘bodies at rest tend to remain at rest’ is just as applicable to the creative process. Too much down time and you’ll find yourself prepping for the next NaNo without having done anything in between. 50,000 words is barely novel length, so you still have to some ways to go before you’ve got a book length project finished. And if you are one of those achievers who managed to knock out a start-to-finish story arc, now you need to start the editing and revision process.

While you’re doing that, DWL and NaNo are still there for you. The forums on remain open and active all year long, including our regional forum. The DWL blog, network, and forums are also here to support and nurture your writing, and when you’re ready for that step, we’re there to give you feedback and critical advice on your work in progress. Don’t stop logging in. Don’t stop writing. Keep going.  We’re here for you, and we’re eagerly waiting to read your book.