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Where do we go from here?

Dear cheapandflimsygrandeur,

IT IS HERE! The final day of NaNoWriMo. The end of the road. The last stop. The jumping off place. No matter what you’ve done with NaNoWriMo-whether you wrote 50,000 words or 5,000 or 500-you did something. Yay! Something! It’s something you didn’t have on October 31st!

So what do you want to do with it? That’s the question. Only you know the answer. NaNoWriMo is a fine journey to take on its own, just for the sake of taking it. Or you could continue and keep working on your book. Auntie MJ can not tell you where to go, but if you choose to go on, she can advise a few ways forward.

1. FREAK OUT. You did it! You did it! Time to get WEIRD! It’s time to eat strange cheeses and do some EXPERIMENTAL HANG GLIDING!

2. GO OUTSIDE. Remember outside? It’s that place that’s outside. Take this slowly. Just go to the door at first and let your eyes adjust to the light. Slowly, slowly.

3. CALL YOUR FRIENDS. Remember your friends? They are the people not in your book. The ones with the bodies.

4. READ SOMETHING. Remember other books?

5. EXERCISE. You probably need it.

6. COOK SOME FOOD. What have you been eating? Be honest with Auntie MJ.

This is a good time to get back to your regular pursuits.

Feel better? Good.

Now, what do you do about your NaNoWriMo book? Here are your basic options: something, or nothing. Both are valid. There is nothing wrong with doing NaNoWriMo just for the sake of it and just LETTING GO.

Or, you could continue working. Which involves doing more of what you were just doing, namely, sitting and writing. For an indeterminate amount of time. And this time, there is no NaNo group or shiny sticker at the end. However, there is A BOOK at the end. And the journey, no matter what, is one you make by yourself. But alone is not the same as lonely. You can join a writing group. You can show it to your friends. You can work your writing into your life.

But from this day on, it’s up to you. It’s ALWAYS been up to you. Auntie MJ wishes you the best, no matter what you decide.

And perhaps she will see you next year?

For her part, Auntie MJ is just STARTING her own NaNoWriMo. So maybe you can send advice to HER.



Auntie MJ

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Posted: Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 @ 7:19 pm
Categories: advice, ask mj, nanowrimo, writing.
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  1. Jessica Baverstock Says:

    Dear Aunty MJ,

    I have read all your posts in November and enjoyed them thoroughly. I shall miss your daily doses of NaNo goodness.

    Thank you for all your hard work.


  2. NaNoWriMoNoMo « Keris Stainton Says:

    [...] did you all do? Maureen Johnson has some excellent post-NaNo advice here. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); [...]

  3. Christopher Says:

    I once again successfully didn’t participate in this ‘contest’. This year I have the excuse of having actual paid writing work, but I always think this contest may be the rather nice push towards having that first pesky novel that I can shop around and be rejected by large publishing companies.

    I may just to pick a random month and choose that as my time to get that first pesky novel out the way. Or I’ll just keep to the habit of eating cheese during times I’m not doing paid writing work. One of the two.

  4. Adrianne Russell Says:

    How awesome that the pic in this post is from one of my favorite movies, “Arsenic and Old Lace” and depicts the scene where something is finally done about the obviously off-his-rocker guy living in the house. I think that’s the how my spouse feels every year on December 1: Finally, an end to the crazy! :)

  5. Alex Says:

    Oh. Well, that’s good. You mean… I can actually go outside now? That thought scares me. Outside is very… big. And green. And full of air. It’s a scary, scary place, this outside thing you speak of.

    On a related note, yeah, I’m not finished with this monstrosity of a book. I will conquer it! And then I shall eat it! (Or not. It all depends.)

  6. Orla-Jo Says:

    Hey MJ, I tried to leave this comment on the other post and somehow messed that up so I’m try again. Cary Grant + Arsenic and Old Lace + your blog = you being awesome.

    And that’s kind of my advice for Nano as well. I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year for the last four years and messing up and trying again and somehow enjoying that torture of paramount to nano (and for me writing at all).

    To add the pretentious quote that of course must follow that kind of cheap wisdom; as Samuel Beckett once said: “every failed? Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

    And that’s nano. But break a leg with this and all you’re endeavours.

    OJ xxx

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