As many people know, it's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those of you who don't know what it is, I suggest you check it out. Hundreds of thousands of people are participating in the madness this year, including myself, and at least two other We Shall Speak member, Kalev and Hannah Marie.
On my personal blog I posted that I would not be blogging for the month of November, but I decided I would take a small break and write this. This has been something that has really stuck out to me this month more than ever before.
I was really excited about NaNoWriMo this year. Last year I particpated in the YWP version and my word count goal was merely 10, 000 for the entire month. I made it with 5,000 extra words and only the beginning of a novel. This year I was ready to take the full challenge. I had improved drastically in my writing skills and abilities, as well as gaining much confidence in this past year. I also had a laptop and more time to help things along. I breathed in deep and grinned wide. I was going to do this, and I was going to do it well.
So I rubbed my hands together and began my exciting work of fiction. 2, 600 something words into it I realized something. My story was very boring. I knew the plot, and I knew it was not, but the beginning was just plain boring. So I talked to my mom, who suggested a Prologue. So I wrote a 2, 300 something word Prologue. And then I realized something else. My Prologue outshined the rest of the book. So I switched to another story. 300 words into that and I was bored. So I talked to a dear buddy of mine who said to ditch both and just start over. So I took my Prologue in hand and began writing. I had no idea what it would be about... it just had to be something.
So I let the ideas flow, not knowing where the story would take me. It landed me in the Great Depression, to begin with. Once that was established other ideas began to form. I was asked for a synopsis of my book. I made the entire idea up, spur of the moment. But it worked. I liked it. I was eager to write this book. I envisioned myself, 50,000 words later, a best-selling author. Well, okay, I wasn't thinking that far, but I was thinking towards publishing (still am, just to let you know). That's when I posted on my personal blog that I'd be taking a break.
That's when I read that other post. I followed her blog, therefore, I got her blog posts in my dashboard feed. I thought "Oh, she's posted a farewell for now post, too. I should read it." And so I did. That's when it began. I became... you might say jealous. Here was a girl that I knew outshined me. Her writing abilities superb, talked about amongst everyone. Her work was pointed out and displayed, published and praised. She had what I wanted. Appreciated work. Skill. Brains. A gift. Words flowed from her fingers like a raging river with no end.
What's more is that I was jealous of her time. Here was a girl who had six hours to devote to writing, and who loftily (or so I thought) claimed that only 150, 000 words would do. I seethed inside (seethed may be a slight exaggeration, but hey... I wasn't happy). I had worked hard and struggled forever to achieve what I had now. To be outshined by one with a natural ease and poise with words made me tremble. It caused strain and lack of diligence, as well as focus and concentration, costing me valuable working time.
Now in the above story (which is entirely true, I assure you) note the over abundance of "I"s and "me"s. It wasn't long before I realized my conceit and self centeredness. I was stricken. I had wasted precious brain energy focusing on the envisioned "competition" that I had not done my utmost on the story God had given me to tell. I was so caught up in wanting the will of God for her life, that I forgot that God had a special will for mine, too. And it was a different will, but just as good.
It was when I realized that writing was not about me, or you, or the publisher, or the editor. It's not about what one person does compared to another. It's about God. It's about taking what He's given you and putting it into action. This applies to all of life. When we get so caught up in the will of God for others, we lose focus of following His will for us, and we pay for it. If her life were meant for me, I'd have it. Apparently her life wasn't meant for me, therefore, I don't. But never would I trade my life, nor my calling. Perhaps my gift is not the same, or perhaps my skills are lesser than hers, or perhaps my style is unique from hers, but God gave me different skills, a different style, a different story to write.
When I began focusing on my story, and my goals, and no one's dreams but mine and God's things began to shape up. I began meeting my goals and going beyond (and then slacking back when other household chores and duties came up. * sigh *). I encourage you guys to stop feeling under rated, under par, unskilled, or unappreciated. Look to the One who gave you your gifts, Who gave you that calling, Who put you in that direction. If each one of us were like another, life would be a constant repeat. So I challenge you to stop comparing and start preparing. God's given you a journey especially for you. Seek Him. Find it. Follow it. And let His appreciation be your motivation.