Most of you know that I participate in NaNoWriMo in November.
I started out strong on November 1 and wrote 1,824 words. I didn't have any story ideas before I started, but a bit of a plot developed as I wrote furiously that evening.
The next day, I had second thoughts. Gary suggested that maybe I could better spend the time working on some of the projects I already have started instead of doing NaNoWriMo this year.
Not do NaNoWriMo? But I've always done NaNo, I thought.
Still, I could see his point. I'm always whining about not having time to write...and then I'm going to spend well over fifty hours this month writing a story that probably won't turn into anything?
I got really sad thinking about not continuing this tradition, but I realized it would be wise to give it up and spend time this year on other things.
I have a very rough draft of a novel waiting to be worked on. I have a book on depression in the works. I procrastinated and have some other things to work on before the end of the year.
Yes, I decided, I'll have to give up NaNoWriMo. Too bad.
I went to the computer and checked out my author info at the NaNoWriMo site. It said I had signed up about twelve years ago and it had stats going back to 2011.
2011: The Secretary...464 words (a pitiful attempt)
2012: No Answer...5639 words (I got a little more serious)
2013: My Title Will Come After About 20,000 Words...50,049!
(I can't even remember the plot of that one!)
2014: Clone Wars...50,037! (This one had lots of short stories in it)
2015: A Very Depressing Story...50,178!
I won three years in a row! And then:
I hadn't even remembered that I hadn't won last year. I thought that I always had to win if I did it. Not true. I can still participate, and it's fun to win, but I don't have to win at all costs. This year, other things need my attention, too.
I want to be wise, and I'm learning that wisdom involves sacrifice.
Being wise might mean setting aside some activity we've always done so that we can do what needs to be done.
Being wise might mean leaving the bag of candy corn at the store and picking up a bag of apples instead.
Being wise might mean turning off the TV and picking up our Bible.
Being wise definitely means looking to God to see what He has in mind for us.
Some years it might be winning NaNoWriMo, but other years it might be finishing that other book.
I feel better tonight. I may not "win" NaNo this year, but I'll participate. I'll try to get my work done during this month and see if I can find some time once in a while to add to my word count.
I'll try to use my time wisely in the coming year so I can free up time next November to write those 50,000 words and win.
Until then, I'm sure I'll have lots of opportunities to make good choices and practice being wise.
"Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV)
Do you make wise choices? How can focusing on God help you to let go of things you "have" to do and do what He has in mind for you instead?