As always, with the end of November, or really any long, time-consuming, soul-eating, banana-wearing, cat-clawing project, comes the inevitable question of: WHAT DO I DO NOW?
I’ve just dedicated an entire month to pounding out a novel that probably hovers somewhere in between “really good idea” and “really bad execution.” Fortunately, that is sort of the point of NaNoWriMo. The first draft is not going to be pretty and you may feel like tossing it in the trash. But don’t do that. No, don’t do that. I like to let mine sit and simmer for at least a month or more. I know that on the re-read, it will come off much better than I think it is right now.
That was a whole month, though, of focusing on one project from start to finish. How do I move on from that?
Often, I get the same feeling after reading an entire book series or watching an entire television series. Once it’s over, I flail for a while, unsure what to do with myself after spending so much time immersed in something.
Eventually, though, I have to snap out of this phase. We all do. We have to find a new project, a new book to read, a new show to watch, something new to write.
Yes, I have my freelance work, but that’s not always creatively stimulating and it’s not something that I do for myself. Those are the projects that I care about the most.
The thing about NaNoWriMo is that every project you had before November started is still there. It’s still waiting in some folder to be dusted off and continued. I have a bad habit of starting new projects instead of going back and fixing old ones. The new ones always seem shiny and pretty as opposed to something I’ve read a million times and can only see the faults in it.
The time has come to either move on to a new project of go back to an old one. I’ve got one on the back burner that I really do need to finish up, but the thought of going tediously through each line with a comb is not appealing. It has to be done, though, if I ever want to get it done. And besides, once this project is done, I’ll just flail again and find something new to work on. After all, there’s always something new on the horizon.