Do we always have to win? I mean, do we always have to reach for, strive and attain the goal? What if it was okay to reach for and strive but be okay with not coming first, winning, being the best of the best, etc.?
Today is the final day for #NaNoWriMo2015. Here are my weekly stats:
Week 1 8,267 words
Week 2 15,568 words
Week 3 15,568 words
Week 4 25,377 words
Final NaNoWriMo 2015 count 25, 377 words.
In week 1 I felt pretty sure that I was going to make the 50,000 words by today. Everything was going well, and truth be told, even with the ensuing weeks of unplanned appointments, struggles and unknowns, I had time to get much closer to that end goal.
But I look at this page and see the progress I have made. I also know the things going on in my life at the same time and am pretty impressed that I’ve even managed to do this much!
Then on Friday I remember thinking about how much I had left to do. I knew that if I wanted to, I could write around 7,000 per day and maybe, just maybe, win my goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve done things like this before, so the ability to do it was there but then it happened.
That almost out of body moment when you think something and wonder if it was you, or that ‘voice’ on the inside that prompts you to think more deeply, to ponder more slowly and decide more carefully.
‘What if you don’t try to make it?’
This was the gist of what I heard in my heart.
There was a time in my life when I would have brushed this idea aside and rushed forward anyway, forgetting about what everyone else needed from me, forgetting time itself and therefore the need to be organised, provide food, be a good mum, etc.
I would write with every spare moment left and leave everything else to chance, and to those around me left picking up in my wake.
But on Friday I felt differently. On Friday I realised that I had a choice not to entertain that part of my identity.
And so I chose to be okay with not making the 50,000 word goal and spent Friday switching between writing, reading Divergent and watching reruns of Law and Order and NCIS. My mind and body were tired from hours of appointments and information recall and dealing with everyday life like remembering to cook dinner so I just enjoyed the quiet day and let the words come when they were ready.
I actually wrote nearly 4,000 words on Friday using this method, so it’s something I think I’ll try again.
Saturday was spent doing other things, like spending time with friends and Sunday was church. An afternoon of total rest and reading ensued because my tendons where shot from playing piano for next to an hour Sunday morning.
Today I am still recovering from too much tendon activity, hanging out with the hubster and having finished Divergent, went to the bookstore to get Insurgent, book 2.
You know what? Despite a small bout of gloom that I’ve not achieved my goal, I am doing okay.
I feel like I’ve made the right choice for me, for my life and for my identity growth. I’ve made a choice to move toward writing a fiction story and somehow now have 25, 377 or so words to prove that I can do it.
Before November 1, 2015, I had no idea that I could write a fiction, let alone this much of one.
I am proud of my progress. I know where my story is going and I know that I am capable of finishing it.
But this time, unlike other creative moments, my family hasn’t been put on the sidelines while I throw on the blinkers and forget they even exist. My friends haven’t felt like I forgot their names and my health hasn’t suffered too much more than I expected it would.
What is my lesson today?
Trust your gut. Go with what works for you and stop apologising for being slower than others (if this is your way), or being faster than others.
Stop letting a goal dictate who you are during that time of achieving it and trust that you’ll get across that line at some point, as long as you just keep on going forward.
So with this said, dinner and then a meeting to attend, I plan to finish out my first NaNoWriMo challenge with a cuddle in bed with the hubby and a new book, instead of sweating out words that really don’t need to be written today.
Thanks for coming along on the journey with me too, by the way. I’ve really enjoyed reflecting on this challenge and hope that you have too. I think since I have managed to pen 25, 377 words I will continue and start to reveal some of the story along the way, just to say thanks for reading!
May the rest of the year bring the deep joy and reconciliation your heart desires.
Love and hugs,