Writing habits. Let’s assume that you can get through the next thirty days in once piece and make it to the finish line. When you finish, what is the next step for the manuscript?
First things first, you should continue writing until you finish. Seriously. Do you think you’ll be able to continue at the same pace? If not, what adjustments do you plan to make to balance writing with end-of-semester and/or holiday obligations?
If you do finish in fifty thousand words or less, you’ll want to evaluate for yourself: do you have a zero draft, or a first draft? December is National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo), so you can stay on the bandwagon and begin to self-edit.
My advice would be, once you’ve completed a second draft, to join a writing critique group, either online or in-person. If you’re going the self-publishing route, you should seriously consider a developmental editor to give your plot and prose the literary equivalent of a personal trainer.
No matter your path, start to think about your post-NaNo journey now, and enlist one of your friends or writing buddies to help keep you on track even when the initial winner’s rush is over!
Action Plan: Create a secondary mission statement to go into effect at 12:00:01am on December 1st. What do you promise to do if you win this—or if you don’t—and how will you help keep yourself accountable?
Additional Reading: “Strategies to Make Sure You Actually Finish That Novel” from i09