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It’s now December. For many of you, that means the hellish challenge that is NaNoWriMo has come to an end. Perhaps this was the year that you won and printed yourself out a winner’s certificate you can display with pride on your fridge’s door. Or maybe this is the year that you had very good intentions of winning, but the flu decided otherwise. Or you’re a non-participant and looking forward to the next eleven months where you mostly aren’t inundated with posts about this damn novel writing month.

A graphic stating "NaNoWriMo Participant 2014"

We missed the final check in last week due to the holidays, so please update us on your final status in the comments. Wherever you ended up — congratulations! NaNo is a huge undertaking.  Remind yourself that however many words you finished with are that many more words than you had at the beginning of November!

So let’s talk about the rest of the year. The aim of NaNo is to get people into the habit of writing on a regular basis. Maybe not “a couple of thousand words a day” basis, which, unless you’re a full time writer, can be hard to fit into a daily (manageable) routine, but a “I’ll keep plugging away on this manuscript” basis. Sure, you could wait to until Camp NaNo rolls around in April and July to work on your story again, but don’t put it off that long. A writer at rest tends to remain at rest. To keep your creative juices flowing, here are some additional writing challenges you can take up in the rest of the year.

Seventh Sanctum hosts a writing prompt generator that can be useful for those times when you don’t have anything to write about. The generator can be set to create between 1 and 10 complex or simple prompts from a small drop down menu. If none of the options grab you, generate some more!

We’ve written about Round of Words in 80 Days before and it remains one of my favorite writing challenges. Rather than having a defined word goal, RW80 allows you to state your own goals for one 80-day period – edit that first draft, for instance, or commit to writing in your neglected blog – and two days a week, you have to publicly account for your progress. This does require you to have your own blog to update as you go, but I hear you can get those pretty cheap these days. I successfully used it to apply to a fancy writing program and get over my anxieties about sending my work out – you tailor your goals to what will help you.

National Blog Posting Month used to be timed to coincide with NaNoWriMo in November, but has become a year round challenge organized by BlogHer. The goal is to write 30 blog posts in 30 days – which sounds simple, but is always harder than it seems. BlogHer posts a new theme or challenge every month and participants link their posts on their forum.

The 30 Day Challenge tumblr isn’t specifically writing related, but many of their 30-day challenges have writing themes. And if nothing else, in order to win the 30 Day Challenge, you have to write something every day for 30 days.

None of these suggestions lighting you on fire? Check out some additional challenges from last year.

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