Many who know me know that I participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an incredible journey lasting all of November. We quest to write 50,000 words in these 30 days at 1667 words per day with 0 fear. Who would submit themselves to this absurd proposition?
And thousands of others.
All kinds of people do NaNoWriMo for all kinds of reasons, but what it’s become for me over the past 7 years is an exercise in creative spirituality. My attempts at novels haven’t been Christian fiction or anything. The process of sitting down and silencing your “inner editor” is so often almost impossible.
Many of us have been taught to be critical. This is helpful in many contexts, but in others it can lead to being paralyzed to start something because there’s a little voice in our heads telling us we can’t do something well enough to even start on it.
NaNoWriMo has not only made me a better writer, it has helped lead to rising self-confidence, awareness of my own limits, and how incredible it is to start a journey without knowing if it will crash and burn or take off in wondrous flight. I am more willing to take risks in other areas of my life, and my understanding of the Holy Spirit has greatly evolved (even though I’m *gasp* writing fiction!).
As a church leader NaNoWriMo has made me a more dynamic preacher who is willing to consider doing crazy things even if I never end up doing them. It has opened my mind to the possibility that other people experience God in ways that make no sense to me since my experiences in NaNoWriMo don’t always make sense to other people.
I encourage all who are willing to go out on a limb to sign up for NaNoWriMo even if you don’t consider yourself a writer or don’t think you can make it to the goal. Sometimes getting into your own head helps get you out of it.
I hope to blog about my experience of NaNo this year because why write a novel and a blog when you can do both at once?