A man is riding a bike on a hill.
Close this search box.
A watercolor illustration of a typewriter with a note on it.

How to Recover from NaNoWriMo

by Kellyn Roth |
December 6, 2017

How to Recover from NaNoWriMo

If you’re like me, after NaNo you feel a little … lost. Sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks. What to do with your life now that you’re not writing like a maniac?
Well, today I’m going to introduce you to my amazing Five-Step Guide to Regaining Your Life after National Novel Writing Month.
So, without further ado, I give you those 5 steps! I hope you enjoy them, that they profit you greatly, and that you end up following, liking, and commenting because of them*.
*I’m a terrible person, really …

divider christmas

  • Set aside your book. Don’t think about it.

Thinking about your book after it’s finished(especially directly after NaNo) is the #1 Cause of the Insanity in the United States.
Really. Don’t even go there for a couple weeks.
When you’re exhausted and emotionally dead is not the time to look at those fifty-nine plot holes. Wait until you regain at least a portion of your mental stability*.
*assuming that happens at all, haha. If not, you might have to edit insane.

  • Take a deep breath, drink a glass of water, and eat something healthy.

Because you’ve been eating chocolate all month, and otherwise you are going to die of sugar overdose. You need your liver. Trust me.
And normally I’m not a health person*, but this is just common sense.
*I avoid being healthy. Like, routinely.

  • Read at least a dozen good books.

Immersing yourself in others’ fictional worlds will help you get out of your own and move on. Also, reading is fun, and you probably have a lot of catching up to do after NaNo! It’s a win-win situation.

  • Enjoy Christmas

And life and basically everything you didn’t enjoy during NaNo!
But especially Christmas. I’m starting to think that God knew when NaNo was and decided to put Christmas right after it just to give me a break*.
At least, that’s one theory …
*Look at me, being slightly irreverent … *decides that you all will forgive me anything* *but maybe not God* *shrugs*

  • Start another project!

Hopefully not writing, though! At best, you will have another manuscript ready to edit. This is ideal, and what I’m doing with At Her Fingertips at this moment.
However, if this is not the case, DON’T (and I mean don’t!) return to your NaNo project! Only superheroes start editing as soon as they finish writing! YOU DON’T HAVE SUPERPOWERS. Put your novel aside for at least a month. Trust me. It will go well for you.
If you don’t have an editing project, try writing a couple short stories or concentrate on brainstorming and outlining. Or … just set aside anything writing-related for a time and work on other stuff. Either way works.

divider christmas

Well, I hope you enjoyed me post! Follow that Five-Step Guide to become the ultimate (and I mean ultimate) SURVIVOR OF NANO. Because you don’t want to just live through NaNo. You want to thrive through it. #cheesy #IDontCare

Until next week,

~Kellyn Roth~

Social Media | Website | Book Blog


Did you do NaNo this year? Did you survive? Or is it your ghost typing a comment? Was this post even vaguely helpful? What’s your Hogwarts House? (I’ve never read/watched Harry Potter, but I just found out that mine is Slytherin!)

What do you think of my thoughts?

41 Responses

  1. 😆 I love that part about the United States. I live in Canada, am partly American, have relatives from there, and I still like being Canadian better. (not to say that I don’t have relatives from Canada either; I have LOTS from here as well) So idk, I just love seeing America getting kind of roasted, and that was hilarious. Made my day. 😂
    (Of course I haven’t had my coffee yet, so I’m feeling mildly insane at the moment. But don’t worry, that’s normal for me in the morning. 😆)

      1. *sneaks into conversation* You probably put it on a different year and then it just stays on automatically after that. I think you can take it out in the Theme setting or wherever that is… 😛 It’s a seasonal thing around Christmas time.

  2. Ooh, I like these steps! (Even though I really didn’t do NaNo…) But I shall do them after I write the first draft of Battle Song…I don’t know when that will be, but I’m getting closer! I have about 2/3 of an outline done and I’m excited because it feels like a real book! Yay!
    (Maybe God influenced the NaNo creators to put it right before Christmas instead of the other way around, haha. 😛 )
    What dozen good books are you planning on reading out of your enormous TBR? (Heheh, whenever I get an email from goodreads I’m like “Well, Kell just added twenty new books…” 😛 )
    And I’ve never actually done a Hogwarts House quiz, but I’m pretty sure I’d end up in Ravenclaw…though I can see parts of myself in all of the houses. (I’m probably least likely to be in Gryffindor, though.)

    1. Whoa, so close! *applauds you* I love when things start to slowly come together and you’re just like, “YES IT IS A BOOK NOW MUHAHAHAHA.” (Don’t ask me what the evil laugh is about.)
      (Okay, yep, that makes a ton more sense … xD)
      Yep, I have like a gazillion books to read … but this month I’m mostly getting through review copies and a couple historical books that have stacked up in my closet. 😛
      Yeah, I’d agree with that. Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff – either one. *really knows nothing about the Hogwarts Houses* *except what I read in like fifteen minutes* *shrugs*

      1. YES IT IS SO MUCH FUN! 😀 Although I got stuck on Amrya’s character arc, but I’m slowly starting to figure it out. So I did finish the outline but now I have to edit the outline. (That sounds really odd.)
        Oh, nice! Anything you’re particularly excited for?
        Also, do you like reading review books? I feel like I would end up really disliking that because I like choosing the books that I read…
        Hehe. I think I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve accepted that people have different enough interests than me that I don’t have to tell them to read Harry Potter. But if you want to… 😛

        1. Well, I’m glad you’re figuring it out! I still need to figure out character arcs for Beyond Her Calling, hehe … I thought I had it finished, but it ended up being all over the place. 😉 (Haha, nope, makes complete sense!)
          Hmm … I’m right in the middle of one that I had stacked in my closet – A Lady Unrivaled, I think it’s called. I’m really enjoying it. And then another review copy, Disowned … I’m 80% through and really loving it!
          Well, I’m very selective about the review copies I pick up, so I mostly just have ones that I love or think I’m going to love? A couple times I have gotten ones that I really didn’t like, and then it’s a drag.
          I do want to! I just have to remind myself to check it out at the library … and then actually drive to the library and get it. XD

          1. Ugh, that’s frustrating when you think you’ve figured something out, but it turns out that you haven’t.
            Ooh, I’m glad you’re liking it!
            Hmm, okay. I still feel like I’d end up getting frustrated personally, but I’m glad you get to pick and choose what you read.
            You should! Harry Potter is so fun. 🙂

            1. Yes, and that happens pretty often with me. I think I need to stop picking a theme and trying to force it to work. 😛
              Yeah, I think it really depends a lot on the personality. I don’t really mind doing things that I decide to do beforehand as I rarely change my mind about things – stubborn, haha – but it depends … sometimes I hate my review copies ….

                1. I just finished the first round of edits of AFOP and am gonna start putting them on the computer which will kinda be the second round … but with lots of revisions and such. Weeell, not really revisions; I’m more rewriting it to add more action and emotion to the dialogue.

  3. This is totally my ghost writing this right now. Hahahaha…ha.
    ANYWAY. I actually FAILED NaNoWriMo this month (which just adds to the fact that I am a literal ghost, I suppose). But I kind of already knew that I was going to fail going into it? I can USUALLY write 50k in 30 days — I say usually because there is always that rough patch of goo known as “life” that tends to throw a curveball somewhere within the month XD — but this year I decided to be a rebel and finish my second draft. Which meant completely rewriting the entire second half.
    So yeah. #FAIL. But I did get some of the rougher chapters and newbie scenes drafted through the month, so I’m happy with how much I got done!!!! *throws confetti in the air* And honestly, this survival guide is EXACTLY what I needed!!! Even though I didn’t finish my second draft, I’m still taking a break from my novel for the Christmas season, and I am SOOO thankful that I am! I’m a lot less stressed out about the troublesome scenes, and I’m gaining a broader perspective of the story as a whole… It is nice.
    SO YES. THIS GUIDE WAS EXTREMELY HELPFUL. But I should probably follow step two a little closer, because I, too, routinely avoid health. XD *high-fives*
    Oh goodness, I wrote a small novel here. I am so sorry! It’s just I’m really excited for Christmas and writing and I’m just in a very talky mood, I guess. . . XD I’ll stop talking now.

    1. *waves at your ghost*
      Well, at least you got to your second draft, which is awesome! Good for you! Any forward motion is an accomplishment. 😉
      Taking a break is soooo important, in my way of seeing it! Stepping back always gives great perspective. 🙂
      I’M GLAD! I was hoping it wasn’t utter nonsense, hehe. *highfives*
      Nah, that’s okay! I love long comments. 😀 <3

      1. *waves back ghostily*
        Yes!!! I am extremely happy that I’m on my second draft!! It’s a very nice feeling… But second drafting is HARD. XD
        Yes!!! That is SO true!!!
        Definitely not utter nonsense!!! This post was extremely fun and helps me not feel so bad for taking a break from my novel! XD
        Oh good! I was worried I spammed you or something! XD

        1. Yes, the second draft is RIDICULOUSLY hard! I think it’s the toughest part of writing, tbh … you have your crazy first draft to sort through and turn into something sensical. 😛
          Haha, well, it’s hard to define. 😉

          1. That is the most perfect description of a second draft ever. XD And you have no idea how nice it is to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles with second drafts. I thought I was doing something TOTALLY wrong. XD
            Haha! XD

            1. YES, second drafts are incredibly hard! I actually find them a little harder than first drafts … I don’t know why. I always feel like I can do ANYTHING in the first draft, but you expect actually AWESOME from the second draft and … awesome is hard.

              1. Yes! That is so me! I absolutely love first drafting, because the creativity can just flow straight from my fingertips to the keys, but a second draft requires thought and more plotting and planning and timelines and ugh. It is rough. I know not how to awesome. 😂

  4. Kell this is so fun!
    One of the best parts about your blog is all the different fonts. So fun to read… oh…. and and all the good stuff you write.

  5. My ghost types all my comments for me. She’s the best secretary ever.
    … just kidding! xD
    I’m a Gryffindor, you evil little Slytherin. Just kidding. My irl friends would kill me if I bias against Slytherin (then my ghost would really have to type for me).

  6. Well…….
    My ghost is definitely not typing for me. I can’t trust her with anything. *glares*
    So………I did go back to my story. Only because it’s not done. I just hit the word count. I didn’t FINISH it. If you know what I mean…….. 😀
    So………I was kinda wondering…………..
    When is the next vlog coming out? *hides praying it didn’t already* *methinks I missed it*
    ‘Cause you kinda got us all ready and then didn’t do anything…………………. 😛 😀
    *hides praying it didn’t already and thinks I missed it* *checks you-tube updates* *makes sure I’m actually subscribed* *realizes I was* 🙂
    😀 xD

    1. Aw, yes, ghosts can be notoriously untrustworthy. *locks mine slowly in the closet*
      Well, yeppers, if you haven’t finished it, then you gotta finish it! BUT TAKE A BREAK RIGHT AFTERWARDS.
      Sorry, Liberty! The thing is, I need to do this vlog with my best friend, and she’s working 5 days a week and I’m working 3 (basically from the time that she’s not working to time to go to bed, haha) and busy the other days and then church on Sunday and Saturdays always seem to be busy. *facepalm* So … yep. Haven’t seen Bailey in a while. XD
      BUT … as soon as we do, we’ll shoot the blog! I hope! Sorry again … we just haven’t found a spare moment!

  7. Omg I love this post, Kellyn!! I definitely think that after NaNo, all writers need to take a break. For me, I’m trying to finish my novel really quickly since I wasn’t able to get it finished with the 50K for NaNo. (My main motivation for finishing is that so I can talk about it a scheduled writerly update post soon hahaha.)
    And NOOOO don’t remind me of other projects!! I have so many ideas (without plots, because I suck at plots) for stories, but I just don’t have the TIMEEEE to write them!
    And omg KELLYN. YOU HAVEN’T READ HARRY POTTER???? I’m thoroughly in shock right now omg!!! And hahaha I can TOTALLY see you as a Slytherin!! I’m a Ravenclaw, but I could also be a Slytherin. So I call myself a Slytherclaw. 😉

    1. Yeah, I’d encourage finishing up – at least to a point where you’re satisfied or something like that. BUT BREAK AFTER THAT. (Haha, I get that …)
      Well … maybe someday in the distant, distant future? After school? When you don’t have homework taking up evenings? *feels like adulting is gonna be every more busy* *shrugs* 😛
      NO I HAVEN’T. I mean to soon … tomorrow … next week … year … Idk. XD It’s one of those things I keep putting off and putting off … Aw, cool! *highfives you*

What do you think of my thoughts?

Follow my blog

Want to receive notifications of new posts? Let\'s make this happen!

Join 1,617 other subscribers