Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NaNoWriMo Update

I'm a bit behind on my NaNoWriMo word count. Okay, I'm really behind, but I'm learning quite a few things.

Lesson #1: Novel writing is harder than I thought (not that I thought it was a walk through a park). Though I am, for the most part, an intuitive writer (meaning I just sit down and write what's in my head), I may benefit from an outline. This takes me back to a fifth grade project where I had to write a required outline for my report on President Andrew Jackson (I think I used the entire eraser on my erasable pen). I couldn't wait to finish the outline so that I could write the paper. Now, as I write my novel, I'm wishing I had taken the time to complete an outline. There's got to be a balance there somewhere.

Lesson #2: At this particular point in my life, a full-length novel may not be my path. Novel writing takes a lot of focus, at least for me. I'm also focused on my family and the many facets of our life. I have a habit of thinking I can do everything, but then really end up doing nothing well. I'm beginning to think devotionals, articles and short stories may be the way for me to go.

Lesson #3: It is possible to dial back my internal editor. One of the purposes of NaNoWriMo is to have writers put their words to paper without editing. Whenever I get the strong urge to go back and edit a scene I have to tell, or at times yell, to myself "I don't care - just write!" This is a huge step for a former tech writer whose internal editor was continually turned on to high.

These are the things I've learned about myself so far. I'm not sure if I will make my word count for the contest, but I'm still trying. Even if I don't meet the word count, I'm still glad I accepted the challenge. It has been an eye-opening experience for me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I decided to accept the challenge. I think I'm crazy, but right now, who cares. I'm hoping this challenge will help me develop perseverance, confidence, and mad writing skills. This challenge is called "NaNoWriMo" - it stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. The prize is knowing I tried. Really.

Honestly, I haven't written much since May. Actually, other than journaling here and there and a weekly blog post, I haven't been writing. The summer, full of travel, organizing, researching, and planning other endeavors, didn't provide me the mental opportunity to write. So, I gave myself permission not to write for awhile.

By September, I missed writing - so much so I felt it in my soul. I decided the NaNoWriMo challenge provided the perfect introduction to writing again. I'll admit, I waivered a bit. Okay, I waivered the whole month of October. I overwhelmed myself with thoughts like "I'm too busy," "I feel overwhelmed," and "What if I don't write 50,000 words?" Finally, I decided "Who cares?" Yes, I'm busy, but if I'm organized, I can do it. So what if I don't meet the word count? I would still write more than if I didn't do the challenge. It just took me a while to reach these conclusions. I signed up for NaNoWriMo October 28 - four days before the contest started. I'm glad I did though. Five days into the challenge, and I'm enjoying it. I'm also finding myself a bit more organized in order to fit everything into the day.

I'll keep you updated on my progress throughout the month. Not just word count, but how I'm feeling about the challenge. Who knows what will be next after the month of November. Maybe I'll edit and rewrite my novel or maybe I'll move on to nonfiction. Either way, I already feel encouraged through this process and I know it will only bring good things.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Word Study: Temple of God

I Corinthians 3:16 - 17: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."

This is one of my memory verses from earlier this year. I used it to remind myself not to be so gluttonous. Let's just say I've lost focus a few times. Of course, this verse can apply to anything that may damage the body, which goes against God's will. We are His creation, made in His image. And now that we've been sanctified through the blood of Christ, we are sacred. Our actions should reflect the character of Christ.

I know I look at my ways and sometimes feel overwhelmed with the task of controlling them. The good news though is that the Spirit of God dwells within me and when I focus on Him, then I have self-control, since it is a fruit of the Spirit.

Why is it important for me to remember that the Spirit of the Lord lives in me? Because I am to be the salt of the earth, an example of God's love, grace, and redemption. If I'm living according to my own desires, then what difference will the world see? Why would they want to follow God if I'm still a slave to my own desires? Also, knowing that the Spirit of the Lord lives in me reminds me of the sacrifice made for my life and how sacred that sacrifice was.