The Week after NaNo

Topics: RestRevision

In the days and now a week after NaNoWriMo, I’ve set the novel almost completely aside. I say almost because I’d be fibbing if I said it wasn’t on my mind. It lurks back there and pesters me with ideas about how it could be better. It also growls sometimes about how painful it will be in January when I sit to read through it. And sometimes it glows with the thought of how much I enjoy revising compared to the process of that first draft whenever I work on my shorter pieces.

I’ve got a plan for this month, though, to keep the novel in the box and using it’s ‘inside voice’ when it nags at me.  The plan goes something like this:

1. Find small projects to write that I can draft and finish in under a week. This is refreshing to say the least.

2. Revisit the submissions I have floating out there to see if they need sending to new homes or if I should put them in the ‘for practice’ file.

3. Draft writing goals for 2013.

4. Spend some time with Julia Cameron and her Artist’s Way again. I did this once many years ago and fell on my face. The book’s been nagging at me, however, through friends and other coincidences. So I’m back at the morning pages and not hating them. In fact, they are becoming a friend, those 3 pages. Go figure.

So far the plan is working. The novel is behaving itself while it waits for me to return, and I am enjoying the space between wild write-a-novel-in-a-month and revision.


About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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  • Gloria Blanchard December 8, 2012, 3:05 AM

    I’ve never been brave enough to attempt NaNoWriMo. Maybe one day. I agree with you; revision is so much easier.

    • Karrie Zylstra December 8, 2012, 4:34 PM

      I actually ‘cheated,’ Gloria. I started the book back in March. It took me until October to get just over 20,000 words written. I desperately needed a kick in the pj’s I wear while writing in the early hours of the morning. NaNo worked. I finished the rest of the book in November. It’s a great relief to have it done. I did not collect the badge or call myself a ‘winner’ so I can sleep at night in spite of my cheating. I can recommend it even if you’d like to bend the rules. It’s great fun to feel like you’re working together with thousands of others with pep talks and a word counter to chart my progress.

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