National Novel Writing Month has come quivering to a close. We lay down our exhausted pens, pencils, laptops, and other writing tools, take a long sigh, and rub our weary foreheads.
It is done. As of midnight tonight, wherever you are, this chapter is closed.
We laughed, cried, and groaned at our writing ineptitude. We spent hours feverishly pushing our writing abilities to the limit, staring in mute despair at the page before us with bleakly blank minds for even more hours.
Our stories soured and then soured. Words turned cryptic and characters spouted overlong speeches, the words pouring from their mouths as if vomited in a panic to get words on the page.
We revelled in the thrilling flow of action pouring from us, uncertain where in our imagination it is coming from. We bowed our heads in deference to the darkness oozing from our fingers onto the page, the love, the laughs, and the diabolical diatribes.
Now that it is done we move on.
Validated to confirm your wretched loss or your voracious victory, you pour yourself a stout glass of wine, brandy, vodka, hot cocoa, or whatever it is that soothes your now shredded soul.
Take a hot bath with soothing mineral oils, bubbles, a warmed brandy, chocolate, soothing music, and a good book.
Tomorrow you can resume the normality of daily life glowing in the aftermath that whether or not you reached that 50,000 word score, you did it. You faced NaNoWriMo and stared it straight in its insidious eye. You stared down the gullet of a veritably impenetrable goal. You did what your friends, family, co-workers, and loved ones feel is incomprehensible, dedicating your soul for thirty days to something that will always make you a little mysterious to them. Something they likely will never truly understand.
What comes next?
Now that normality settles on your life and you perhaps feel a little empty for leaving that part of you behind, you ask yourself a simple question.
Keep writing. You don’t have to push. The drive of the impossible no longer hangs over you. Take what you learned about yourself over the past thirty days, the newfound ability to find the writing spark on demand, or keep working to discover that ability if you are still struggling with it, and just enjoy the writing. Let yourself gently guide your story to completion on your timetable.
Come January and February, the ‘Now What?’ months, it is time to follow the pledge you will now make to yourself and the NaNoNite community. The pledge to not abandon what you just wrote with wanton abandon. Come January and February embrace your work and dig in with both feet and your hands as you rip and shred it into a new masterpiece through editing both savage and refined. It is revision time!