The NaNoWriMo Hangover

On Saturday 3oth November I became a winner. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: But Freya you’ve always been a winner. And while of course this is 100% true as I find myself waltzing through life with wades of people cheering and clapping every breath I take, it has never been official until NaNo.

People ACTUALLY cheered me through my computer screen. And it was wonderful to have finished, to have completed such a big and promising project. And I knew I had to stop. My twitching eye told me that. Plus, I need ‘distance’ from it before I begin editing (so they tell me). But MAN I am finding it hard. Why did no one warn me that I would miss it this much?

It’s been three days since I stopped writing. Yes, three! I read an entire book in that time and loved it, but I’m also coming down with some sort of NaNo-induced sickness, where my body has said ‘enough, time to rest.’ But I still have this sort of sadness. This itch to get back into the novel. And it calls to me. It kept me up until 5am yesterday, along with the random hot flushes of illness. But I’m desperate to dive into it. Nothing else tempts me. Not a short story or a flash fiction. Or a new novel all together. No, I want this one. I don’t want to let it go. I can’t wait to go and fix it up and polish it smooth.

I’m going to miss the mad adventure of November. I loved every minute of it. And maybe I feel a bit sad about that too.

Any tips on how to cope with the aftermath of NaNo?


4 thoughts on “The NaNoWriMo Hangover

  1. This is exactly how I felt after NaNo. I re-read my work and it was totally atrocious, but I couldn’t do anything else but work on it. I took a month off but ended up doing very little writing of any quality in that time. When I wrote the next draft in January it was also awful but I was too bitten by the characters to stop – even though I was sure I was wasting my time. By the end of the third draft I was beginning to like it but made myself take anothher two months off and it was so much better for that. By Draft Five it was ready for an agent, but even then I’ve done two more versions. If a writer doesn’t love their book, they’ll never stick the course through all the revisions!

    I’m glad you enjoyed it so much – even if it was exhausting. Enjoy doing lots of reading for a month instead, then good luck with all the polishing and smoothing!

  2. Nano is definitely exhilerating! the best advice I’ve seen is to take some initial notes right after you’re done or now, but give it a month to six weeks before you really dive into a rewrite. Use your notes from when it was fresh in your mind.

    In the meantime, read, do holiday stuff, binge-watch TV shows (that’s what I do!). OR work on another manuscript if you have editing to do.

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