Was just surfing Twitter as I do most days after completing my word count and saw something Joe Hill tweeted about the reception of his work or anyone's work for that matter-
Great message for everyone participating in NaNoWriMo.
What? You didn't get it? K. Let me go over the finer points of what he's saying:
You create because you need to create.
If you're doing it for some other reason you're hiding behind a mask that will disintegrate and fall away soon to reveal your true self for what it is. Usually this will happen with people who thought they'd get rich being creative ie: painting abstracts, writing indie books, sculpting because it looked easy in Ghost, etc. You'll find out that success comes after patience, diligence, and belief in a long term goal that may or may not include money. If you're the person creating for the simple reason of making money, you'll quit. And that's fine. It clears the road of your ignorant carcass for the rest of us who do the things we do because of one simple thing-
That's right, I said it. The L word. I love to write. It kicks my ass some days but I love it because I know it will come back to me the next time I sit down and begin again. Some days are 500 word days, some are 3000. It's all based on too many factors to list here, and I'm good with that.
Getting back to what Mr. Hill said and how it applies to NaNoWriMo:
If you've succeeded in hitting your word count each day, you're now sitting with about 50,000 words that weren't there before. Take a moment to do a victory lap. I'll wait. K, back yet? Alright. You did it. You completed something and I'm guessing you did it because you love it. Each day that you had a million things going on this month you made sure you sat down and pounded out a thousand or so words. Its more than most people can do and you should be congratulated. I hope you wrote it as best you could and you're happy with it.
Do you feel that?
The happiness of putting your heart into something and being satisfied with it? I'm not talking end product, polished to a high gloss, done done done. I'm talking you finished something that you believed in. If you feel it then it's downhill from here. I'm talking you down off a ledge right now that you don't even know you stepped out on. I'm talking about...
Whoa, that's quite a cliff. Here's a few of the thoughts going through your head: "Wow, I'm done! Awesome! Well, I guess I'll hand it around to a few writer friends and family, see what they think of it and then maybe query and agent after I get it properly edited and polished, or maybe I'll self publish and get it out there... What if people don't like it? Did my characters seem flat? Did I miss a plot hole somewhere? Christ, my vocabulary sucks compared to this other writer. Oh God, I just wrote a pile of trash! I need to burn it! Burn it back to the fiery hell it came from!" (Dances around a burning manuscript in the moonlight for about two minutes since it's only 50,000 words long).
K, you need to go back up and read Joe Hill's tweet again. You created something by God, you finished it! It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of your work. You did your best and accomplished something others only talk about. Polish the hell out of it, edit it to the brink of extinction and back again, put it out there whichever way you choose. Lay it bare for people to read it, because guess what?
Someone will read it.
Someone will hate it.
But someone else will like it.
I guarantee it.