Monday, November 5, 2007

exhausted, but inspired

Five days into November... and I'm officially at 6,786 words out of my 50,000 goal for November (National Novel Writing Month). Whew. The first night was the hardest. I hadn't slept much the night before, and by 9pm when everyone was in bed I soooo wanted to go to bed, too. Writing 1667 words seemed as impossible as running a marathon.
Now I promised myself (and God) that I wouldn't write without devotions first, devotions being "time devoted to God" - reading the Word and praying. So here's my first dilemma: I was so tired, it seemed like one or the other. If I do devotions, I won't have time to write, I'll be too tired. If I go ahead and write, that's breaking a promise. So I spent time with God. If He wants me to succeed at this crazy writing contest thing, He'll have to provide the energy. And He did. I started writing at 10 pm and by 11 pm I had written 1010 words! Not quite the 1667 daily average, but absolutely amazing considering that last week it took me 2 1/2 hours to write that amount. When you ask God for help, boy does He give it!
Same scenario the following night. Even better: 1212 words. I don't know if what I'm writing is any good, but I'm on a roll, now. It's exciting. Ideas are flowing. I'm starting to think I can actually do this... actually FINISH my book by the end of November. (NaNoWriMo web pages warns newbies about this first flush of exurberance... they say by week 2 we won't be quite so optimisitic)
The next day it hits me: I'm 1000 words behind already, and another 1667 to add to that to stay "caught up" - wow, it's going to be incredibly easy to fall behind in this venture. So, pray about it first. I wrote during naps. I wrote while the kids watched movies. I wrote till midnight, and I finished at 2,685 words.
Last night I managed another 1859 words, finishing at 11pm (but that's with the time change in my favor). My mind is in overdrive: even after I stopped writing and made myself go to bed, I couldn't shut my brain off. I'm not sure how long I can keep this up, physically. I had to take an hour nap this morning while the twins took their nap, and it wasn't enough. I know from past experience that when I don't get enough sleep, I get grumpy. I get short with the kids (not to mention my husband, who thinks I'm insane to try to write the equivalent of 5 pages every night: he's dreading the 8 page paper he's got two weeks left to write). It's tempting to think: so what if I'm a little grumpy for the month of November. It's just one month in my life, and one month out of the 144 to 204 months that my kids have left to put up with me. My kids probably won't even remember the Month Mom Went Nuts by next year, or even next month (especially since next month is Christmas).
But God will know.
Need to keep checking in on Him about this. At what point does it switch from being a great motivator to write, to being a vain pursuit of selfish interests?

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