If you feel like I do, you are happy you finished NaNoWrimo but are a little tired. After writing 50,000+ words in the month of November, the last thing you want to do is write some more. Here's the catch. If you want to be a published author one day, or already are, you know that you can't just stop. Sure, breaks are healthy and much needed but when the book is fresh in your mind, now is the time to finish it!
Think of NaNoWrimo as draft zero. Draft zero you ask? Why not draft one? Well, if you go back and read what you wrote during those 30 days, you will understand. At least, for me this is the case. NaNoWrimo is such a marathon, it's hard to get 50,000 words that are useful out of it. The way I look at it, I now have a great block to build on. My draft zero will make my first draft all that much easier!
Through the last month, I have realized what will work and what won't from my original idea and synposis. I've learned what my characters are all about, the good and the bad. The picture is clearer, my characters can now stand alone with pride, personality and a voice.
Despite throwing away a lot of words from November, in the end, it will make my novel better. I hope you all feel the same.
For those who didn't hit 50,000, don't worry. It isn't so much about the amount of words, it's that NaNoWrimo got you to put your butt in the seat and write SOMETHING. Even if you wrote a few thousand words, perhaps that is a few thousand more than you would have. If it helped you with your story, than it was worth it!
So, congrats to everyone! Take a few days off and rest, but back to the grindstone before you lose your momentum! Oh, and for the record, I wrote 50,109 words (or 50,112 in Word) and a few chapters away from finishing draft zero! :)