You’ve crossed the coveted NaNoWriMo finish line and celebrated it accordingly. But after a month of superhuman efforts to reach the desired word count, you might be feeling creatively depleted. Perhaps you’re so exhausted that completing your NaNoWriMo novel seems like an impossible chore. Or you’re finished, but are cringing at the thought of the revision process ahead.
We invited creativity coach and AROUND THE WRITER’S BLOCK: USING BRAIN SCIENCE TO SOLVE WRITER’S RESISTANCE author Rosanne Bane to get some tips on how to get out of the post-NaNoWriMo rut.
Congratulations! You completed a major writing project! Perhaps you completed NaNoWriMo – either with 50,000 words or with the knowledge that you showed up and put in a gallant effort toward your 50,000 words.
Maybe you completed a book proposal, a chapbook, your 500th blog post or your MFA. Maybe your editor approved the final draft of your book or you’re finally holding your just published baby.
The forms of writing accomplishment vary, but the exhilaration is the same. Relish how good completion feels. Take pride in your effort and the results. Exercise your bragging rights.
Because this afterglow will fade, and if you’re not prepared for what comes next, the aftershock can knock you off your feet.
After the Glow
To achieve a significant writing goal, you must exert a great deal of creative energy. Sometimes you complete a project and still have enough energy to circle back to the first stage in the creative process to start a new project. But creativity is not an unending assembly line, nor is it supposed to be.
Sometimes completing a project depletes your creative energy. You simply cannot start something new. Your mind is blank. Your creative juices have run dry. It seems like you’re trudging through a creative desert without a juicy idea in sight.
You’ve moved into the Hibernation stage. And if you don’t know what Hibernation is, it’s frighteningly easy to start to wonder what’s wrong with you and if you’ll ever write again.