Rest, But Don’t Stop, After Meeting a Writing Milestone

don't stop sign warns writers to keep writingAfter a big push to get a project done, it’s easy to slack off. Not that you don’t deserve a break after something like National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo). If you took part in the Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) challenge, you surely deserve a break—in particular if you started and finished a work of nonfiction in 30 days. That’s a big accomplishment. My advice, however, is this: Rest, but don’t stop, after meeting a writing milestone

A few days or a week off can turn into a month before you know it. You can lose your excitement, energy and courage if you don’t keep moving forward with your writing project–and most writing projects don’t just end when you think you’ve finished. There’s always another revisions or query letter to write or promotion to do.

I’m not saying don’t take a (short) break. Do, indeed, reward yourself with a bit of time off—or an ice cream sundae or a walk around the block. Then hunker down and do whatever it takes to get to the next stage with your project.

  • If you wrote the first draft to your manuscript, work on the second draft, and then hand it over to a professional editor.
  • If you wrote a book proposal, polish it up, hire a professional proposal editor, and then send it out to agents.
  • If you wrote an article or an essay, hone your copy and then send it out to a magazine.

I find that many of my coaching clients will power through getting their manuscript written or their blog designed and ready and then suddenly get cold feet about taking the next necessary step toward their goal. If that describes you, you might need an author or blogging coach to help you move through your fear. Sometimes it helps to have someone with whom to talk. You might need someone who can make sense of your anxiety, offer advice, give you action items each week, and hold you accountable to doing them.

Or create another challenge for yourself: Make December the month you complete the next draft or submit that proposal or article. Set another deadline…

If you got cold feet about entering the post-WNFIN Pitch Slam. Well…the deadline for entries has been extended to tonight, Dec. 3 at midnight. As long as you meet all the other criteria as outlined here, you can still submit your entry. Maybe that will give you a little push.

Don’t ever stop moving forward toward your writing and publishing goals. Yes, take a break when you make it to a large milestone. Once you’ve caught your breath, patted yourself on the back, and acknowledged your accomplishment, set a new goal and move on.

Photo courtesy of


  1. I agree that we should stay motivated, that WNFIN isn’t just a one-off task. Thanks to the experience I’ve met some friends with whom I plan to keep in touch. Some have agreed to read a draft of an essay taken from the November work done. My goal is to complete the draft, already well underway, and send it out before 31 Dec. Then February is National Travel Writing Month, or a month of daily submission goals. Hopefully in the meantime I can keep plugging away at my book, continuing on with blog posts (3 of 7 done already this month). WNFIN energy keeps on going. I surely do hope that we can do this again in mid-summer.


  2. I finished my last gratitude blog post on Friday and have taken a writing break since then, which worked out, because I had a sick child to tend to. Today is a new day filled with hope, and likely some good writing. National Book Blogging Month coming up in April? Thanks for the heads-up. Can’t wait for it.

Speak Your Mind