Screw the End Goal – a sort of NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

Screw the end goal

Today is 15th November, which, for many writers, means only one thing: it’s half way through NaNoWriMo.

Originally, I was going to write a pep talk encouraging everyone to keep going. To let those who had fallen behind know it could still be okay.

But when I got here, that’s not the message I wanted to send. Besides, there’s enough encouraging pep talks over at NaNoWriMo itself – they’ve got all that covered.

Instead, I wanted to write about the journey. And this applies to everyone, not just those taking part in NaNoWriMo.

The end goal doesn’t actually matter

The end goal is important. Of course. That’s what gets you started. It provides direction.

But it’s not the whole point.

Sure, the rational aim is to get to that end goal. It’s why you began, right?

But it’s almost arbitrary. Because the really important part is the actual starting. it doesn’t matter where you end up, as long as you go somewhere.

And you need that goal to give you the reason to start. The motivation and the kick.

Anything after that though? It’s all a bonus.

Once you’ve started, everything’s a win

The goal of NaNo is to get to 50,000 words by the end of November. But even if you don’t get there, if all you get is a couple of thousand words, that’s still a couple thousand you wouldn’t have otherwise had.

You got started with that big goal in mind. And though you didn’t reach it, that goal got you started – enough to achieve something. Anything.

And that’s a big giant win.

You can’t achieve anything unless you actually start. That’s the hardest part.

So don’t worry about the end goals. They’re only there for the start. Once you’ve done that, everything is a win.

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