Saturday, November 23, 2019

Giving Up on NaNoWriMo?

I've been gone forever!

Actually, my computer broke and had to go to the 'hospital' and I haven't had it for some weeks. That is why I went radio silent. Sorry about that. I have it back now and will commence blogging regularly again.

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about giving up. Is it ever okay to just quit?

The story that I chose to write for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a Crime Fiction story. It's a new genre for me, and therefore presents difficulties I have not faced in the past. And it was a struggle to write. NaNoWriMo is not over, so I won't say I've failed yet. But I will say that this story has been a trial on a number of levels. The new genre and learning the rules of how to write Crime Fiction has been difficult. Writing in the 80s rather than the middle ages has been hard, as I put more pressure on myself to get the 'history' right--even though this is only the first draft, and I could go back and fix it later. And the big thing: Writer's Block.

Writer's block is not something that I deal with, ever. I just don't. I know most writers have their times of not knowing what to write, of not having words. But that has never been me. This story, however, has me staring at a blinking curser a lot, just completely at a loss.

And at first, I refused to give in. I was getting frustrated, and writing stopped being a joy for me, but I wasn't going to be a quitter. Just because it was harder than usual didn't mean I had a right to stop. That's what I told myself.

But upon further reflection, I think it was okay that I wanted to stop. My writing is a very spiritual experience. I pray about the stories that I will be writing, I seek God's guidance throughout the crafting of each story, and I want every story I write to point to Jesus. When this story stopped bringing me joy, that was a clear indicator that it simply wasn't the story I was meant to be writing yet. I ignored that indicator because I didn't want to be labeled a quitter.

Maybe I will finish the story another time. Or maybe I won't. The important thing is paying attention to what stories God does want me to be telling. And knowing that's it's okay to quit sometimes.

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