Friday, October 15, 2010

To NaNoWriMo or Not to NaNoWriMo...

...that is the question.

I've done (and "won") National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the past two years. It's been difficult and freeing and stressful and wonderful to write like that...with such literary abandon, and without stressing about quality--just quantity. Just working on whatever could get me past 2000 words that day. I wrote a lot of crap, and maybe some decent stuff. But mostly crap.

You see, writing fiction is sooooo not my thing. My thing is nonfiction. And, upon the rare occasion (increasingly rare lately), poetry. So why am I thinking about making another November even more stressful?

Partly because of the rush of writing like that--allowing words to flow like water through my mind and my fingers--is such a high. It's a confidence-builder, even if no one else sees it.

Last Sunday over lunch with Kitty and Judith, we talked about confidence...and our lack of it. The next morning I texted Kitty that I was praying confidence on her behalf. As I texted, my mind roved to the Latin lessons I had given the kids: con means "with"; fide means "faith." So confidence is to go forward "with faith." And that text was a reminder for me as well as for my friend whom I see as being very confident, one who always seems to go forward with faith.

But confidence does not only mean to go "with faith" in God which at times seems almost easier than to go "with faith" in self. Yes, as Christian women, we are to go forward "with faith" in God--definitely. But faith in self seems to be something we're not supposed to have...only faith in God. But I can't help but think that we also need to have some faith in ourselves, in the abilities God has given us.

It's like the Parable of the Talent in the Gospels. Two servants invested the talents given them, and they pleased their Master. But the third servant had no confidence in the Master (whom he called "a hard man") and also no confidence in himself to invest that one talent.

Yes, God can grow us in confidence..."with faith"--grow our faith in Him and grow our faith in the talents He has given us to invest. We women of God need to go forward "with faith" in God's ability to grow and mature the talents with which He has gifted us, and "with faith" we can exercise these talents for His glory.

Over the past two years, NaNoWriMo has helped me to go forward "with faith" in writing. Writing fiction, although it's not necessarily my gifting, has helped me in writing in other genres, especially in nonfiction and essay. It's kind of like building up the stomach muscles so that one can lift more with one's arms. More is possible because different muscles are being strengthened and developed that will directly affect the areas that we are strong in...and wish to become even stronger.

But my November is already crazy...with homeschooling three boys, teaching two co-op classes and doing all the grading required, working through the editing/proofreading process on the big project with Father Acker, plus I'm teaching a research paper class on Brave Writer. I don't know how easily I can squeeze in a few hours of writing each day for the entire month....

So, I will have to think about it. And pray about it. And seek how God wants me to grow and go "in faith" in writing this next month.

How many of you are going forward "with faith" to write 50,000 with NaNoWriMo?

Praying to write confidently ("with faith"),

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