by Lacie Nezbeth
December is newly upon us, and that means there are oodles of NaNoer’s out there either celebrating or trying to forget November ever existed. I admit to being in the second group.
This was the first year I attempted NaNoWriMo. Admittedly, it was an ambitious goal for me, one that I fell far short of reaching. But after I went through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance) I was able to find a silver lining. (A very thin, hard-to-find line, but a line nonetheless.)
Silver lining: I learned something!
1. I learned that life happens. (I learn this one a lot.) Holidays occur, kids still fight, the car will inevitably get a flat tire, dinner happens every evening, and the world goes round and round. Take a deep breath and roll with it, and give yourself some grace.
2. I learned that November is a horrible month to hold NaNo. With all the holiday buildup, the stretchy, turkey-eating pants, and the race to put up a tree, November is an awful time to be holed up in an office. Just one deflated opinion.
3. I learned that large word counts combined with extended periods of sickness don’t mix well. I used to think that being sick had to be one of the perks of the writer life; a time when you can get extra work done. You’re laying in bed anyway…might as well do it with a laptop. Right? I’ve seen the light though, so don’t send any strongly worded emails my way just yet.
4. I learned it’s okay to feel disappointed in yourself…for a bit. I really did travel through all five stages of grief. I felt so prepared and excited about trying NaNo this year, that when it blew up in my face I wasn’t ready for the surge of disappointment at my shortcomings. I hadn’t planned on failing. Feel the disappointment, but don’t wallow in it.
5. I learned that it doesn’t mean you’re not really a writer. This is a fear of mine. That I’ll do something or fail at something that I should be able to do, and then the world will know that I’m a wannabe. Thankfully, not succeeding this year doesn’t get you kicked out of any clubs.
6. I learned that my writing habits stink. This is hard to admit, but I suspect I’m not the only one who’d prefer to sit with a remote in my hand at the end of the day. Now I know exactly where I need to focus and improve.
7. I learned that the story is still waiting to be told. The timer might have gone off for NaNoWriMo, but that’s okay. Find something new to motivate you. Set a new goal and keep at it.
I hope all of you met your November goals. But even if you’re like me, there’s always a thing or seven to learn from the experience. And sometimes…that’s enough.
From her earliest years, Lacie Nezbeth knew two things-she longed to be a stay at home mom, and stories, in any form, captivated her. Today, those two passions have culminated into a fairy tale life that continually points her to God’s overflowing goodness. Her love of history, traveling and research made her decision to write Historical Romances an obvious and fitting choice. When Lacie isn’t working on one of her stories or tackling the unending mountain of laundry produced by her three small kids, she can be found chauffeuring her children to their various activities, talking to herself in the grocery store or plotting ways to get her entire family on another Caribbean cruise.