As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.
Today I am thankful for writing. Particularly the struggle of writing.
I decided to participate in something called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short and NaNo for even shorter), wherein you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It’s not supposed to be perfect or even good, you’re just supposed to write the bones of a story, then edit it into something good (if you want).
It’s not going well for me.
For years, I have gone back and forth on fiction writing. I love reading novels, of course, but for a while I’ve felt more drawn to writing non-fiction, particularly essays. Writing fiction is a struggle for me. I have my moments where I am happy with what I write and I feel the energy necessary to see a project through to completion. Then I have my moments where I hate it and want to throw it all away, walk away.
But that’s just it. There’s something about the struggle that makes me want to do it, that makes me unable to walk away forever.
I’ve participated in NaNo a number of times over the years, but I’ve never completed the challenge of 50,000 words. Yet each year, I am back at the starting line, hopeful that this will be the year. And maybe it will be. I finally stumbled across an idea that ties together a lot of the threads I’ve started in my fiction writing.
I’m grateful for that struggle, that compulsion that keeps me coming back to try again and again.
What are you grateful for today?