"For skillful and godly Wisdom is better than rubies or pearls,
and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared with it." Proverbs 8:11 Amplified

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Reflections on National Novel Writing Month

Yesterday, November 30, NaNoWriMo wrapped up for another year. I again joined the almost 300,000 people from all over this globe, setting aside life for thirty days to challenge mind, body and spirit to a task that sounds doable at the beginning of the month. A task that takes guts, especially if you broadcast to family, friends and co-workers that you have jumped into the pool.

I hugely admire those who have full time jobs, children, marriages, volunteer jobs, and/or health issues. How have they accomplished this monumental task: by stealing hours from sleep, using lunch hours, writing while the kids are at their sporting events, dictating into a recorder while driving. I’m sure this list could be pages long, they used whatever moment they could because they had something to prove to others, maybe to themselves or perhaps there was a story in their heart that had to be put on paper. The reasons for writing a 50,000 word novel are as varied as the individuals doing the writing.

I became a NaNo winner for the fourth year in a row.

I now have four partially finished novels, one with a word count of over 83,000 words. What I have learned and how my writing has grown is the prize I focus on in this moment.

Philippians 3:12-14 in the Message translation says it so wonderfully.
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

After this, my fourth NaNo, I will say:
  • I am well on my way.
  • I do not count myself an expert in all of this
  • I’ve got my eye on the goal
  • I’m off and running
  • I’m not turning back
Not a bad vision to have in front of me as I set my goal to finish the novel I am presently working on. I don’t have a title for it but I do have the chapter titles, they are taken from Ecclesiastes 3.

There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season.
There is a time to be born
and a time to die.
There is a time to plant
and a time to pull up plants.
There is a time to kill
and a time to heal.
There is a time to destroy
and a time to build.
There is a time to cry
and a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad
and a time to dance.
There is a time to throw away stones
and a time to gather them.
There is a time to hug
and a time not to hug.
There is a time to look for something
and a time to stop looking for it.
There is a time to keep things
and a time to throw things away.
There is a time to tear apart
and a time to sew together.
There is a time to be silent
and a time to speak.
There is a time to love
and a time to hate.
There is a time for war
and a time for peace.

So with the month of November behind me but much writing ahead how am I feeling today? Tired, discouraged, frantic, disappointed. Most of all fearful that I will once again end up with a partially finished novel; I count that as failure. I know that some novels don’t deserve to be finished, however, unless I am able to write The End, even to a lousy, stinking piece of garbage how will I know that I can do this. God has called and whom He calls, He equips, so it is not God’s failure but mine if I don’t press through. He gives me an answer.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 Contemporary English Version

What do we gain by all our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do.

He doesn’t promise it will be easy. Contentment waits for me at The End.

Now with Christmas twenty-five days away my focus shifts to the holidays, decorating the house, sending cards, cooking, shopping, wrapping, cleaning, family time.

Today I feel sad, tomorrow may be a day of dance.


Susan R. Mills said...

Congrats on finishing NaNo. I'm impressed. Sorry to hear you are feeling sad. Hope today was a better day.

Diane Marie Shaw said...

Thanks Susan, doing lots better. Maybe it was a let down from the intensity of NaNo.