This post by Chuck Wendig originally appeared on his terribleminds blog on 12/1/14. Warning: strong language.
On November 1st, NaNoWriMo matters.
On November 8th, it still matters.
On November 13th, 18th, 24th, mmm, yep, it matters.
(Thanksgiving? Only pie matters. Do not argue this.)
On November 30th? Still matters!
*the quiet sound of crickets fucking*
Today, it doesn’t matter.
This isn’t a dismissal of National Novel Writing Month. Not at all. I’ve come around to love the spirit around that month — a 30 day descent into the lunacy of being a novelist, equal parts fun and frustration (“funstration!”). A hard dive into creative waters. Let it fill your lungs. Drown in it.
Rock the fuck on.
But right now? It doesn’t matter. NaNoWriMo is just the wrapping, the trapping, the springboard, the diving board. It’s what got you going, but it isn’t what matters.
What matters is you. What matters is the work.
And right now, you’ve got something.
I don’t know if it’s finished or not. Did you win or lose?
Forget winning and losing.
You left those words behind when NaNoWriMo ended. What matters now is what happens next.
Don’t know what happens next? Here. I’m going to tell you. Or, at least, I’m going to give you a general idea of what happens next — a menu of permutations and possibilities.
If you didn’t finish what you started, you’re going to finish it. (Why? I told you that last week.)
And if you did finish it?