Today I'm keeping it short and sweet.
I won NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) at 50,052 words.
However, I am not done with my novel.
It's getting harder to write now that I'm past 50k, as I've never traveled further before.
So...what now? How do you keep up the steam you generated during NaNo so that you're still scribbling come February or April or December 1?
A short list of ways to keep the inspiration (and word count) up while you wait for Camp NaNoWriMo (April and July next year) and Traditional NaNoWriMo:
1. READ -- I've been reading such lovely books -- particularly Wonderstruck (see my review below), Book of a Thousand Days (review coming on Monday) and Liesl and Po. Being enveloped in these wonderful stories has reminded me that I want to tell my own stories -- of high quality, like these. They inspire me to try harder, and write [more] often.
2. Keep up with other writers through blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. I follow several authors using Facebook, Pinterest and the occasional blog, and there's a ton of writing advice to glean (and pin). Free education, with the occasional giveaway...what's not to like??
3. A writing group/beta readers: I have yet to firm this up for myself, but I have been part of two writing groups and have critiqued a few manuscripts. It's loads of fun getting personal feedback from people you know, but if you can't find them in your area, try an online writing community (perhaps through NaNoWriMo?). Keep talking about your stories with one another -- creativity and inspiration will abound! (You can also co-write a project if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of going it completely alone)
4. Make a goal -- set a daily wordcount or a weekly goal, plan ahead and see how much you can accomplish! My goal this year (the next month) is to finish my NaNoWriMo novel (aiming for 60-65k) and finish the next edit of my futuristic sci-fi short story. I'll be making new goals near the end of December to make sure I stay on track next year.
5. Last and definitely not least, KEEP WRITING. Even if you wake up and don't feel like you're a storyteller that day. You know what? None of us are consistent enough to feel like being the same thing every day. It just doesn't happen. So slap some words down and keep moving forward (and if you really can't work on your current project, try penning a letter, writing a comic strip, coming up with greeting card lines, or write a poem or blogpost. Write SOMETHING. It'll become a habit).
What do you do to stay inspired?