Posted by on Dec 6, 2018 in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration | 0 comments

You know what the very best cure for a NaNoWriMo hangover is? Hair of the dog! Just keep on writing!

But sometimes that’s not always so easy, especially if you’re feeling a bit burned out and missing all the motivation and fun of the big NaNoWriMo event. My Wrimos were lamenting this very thing and wishing they had just a little bit more of a push to help them get to the end of their novels so I decided, if it’s the structure of the challenge people like, instead of just saying “keep writing,” maybe we could all take on a challenge that’s a bit more specific.

We’ve had a full week off from NaNoWriMo so it’s time to dip our toes back into writing with a new writing challenge that starts today and goes all the way through the end of the year!

I call it the Hair of the Dog Post-NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge (hashtag #HotDPostNaNoChallenge). To take on the challenge, all you do is aim to write at least 500 words every day from now until the end of the year. And, no, it doesn’t literally have to be every day if that doesn’t work for you (I say this as a total binge writer who definitely doesn’t write even close every day), but that’s the total number of words you are aiming for. So, if you are seeing this the day I posted it (December 6th), that means you’re aiming to write 12,500 words total by midnight on December 31st but feel free to adjust it accordingly. And, hey, if you like the consistency of writing every day and that works for you, make that your goal! Whatever makes it work best for you is the right way to go!

Write some of your novel if you still need to finish it, sure, but, really, anything that keeps the pen moving so you don’t lose your writing momentum is great! (I use too many exclamation points but I can’t help it! I am an excitable person!)

Why 500 words? Because, for most of you, that’s a 15 minute writing sprint or less a day, WAY less than NaNoWriMo pace but still enough that you’ll keep making forward progress and might even finish your NaNo novel before the end of the year. It’s just enough to fit into your busy life and keep you writing so you start to realize, yes, you can really do this, even when it’s not NaNoWriMo.

And if you love the tools and stats that NaNoWriMo offers, you can get them by setting this challenge up as a Goal Tracker on the site here.

I usually take December mostly off from writing but I’m not doing that this year for a variety of reasons so I’ll be trying to hit that daily 500 right along with you right up until the very end. So know that at least one other person is out there aiming for a regular word count goal even if it seems like everyone else is FaLaLa-ing and lighting seasonal candles far from their keyboard.

You and I, we’re busy this month… but we can still make time to write and we will, darn it!

So whether it’s journal entries, blog posts, end of year retrospectives, starting something new or finishing up that novel you wrote in November, go ahead and grab that graphic above to share on social media or your own blog to commit and make it real and then let’s get back to writing and finish this year out strong!