Now that Halloween is over, the Christmas buying season is full upon us – like it or not. Or if you’re a writer, it’s NaNoWriMo. This stands for National Novel Writing Month, which occurs in November. (I add this to clarify, seeing that the retailers have combined November and December into NoDber, which stands for No Doubt you’ll buy anything we offer.)
Back to NaNoWriMo – The challenge is to write a novel in a month. You can google the history of this and find out that is started in 1999 and has grown since then. Sometime, somewhere, an act of congress officially added it to our calendars.
When I first learned of this, I thought it was a great omen, since my birthday is also in November. I felt elevated as a writer. It was kismet! I also have chosen not to participate. Hmmm . . . Why? Because I know my limitations.
I get different reactions to making a statement like that. There are those who nod, knowingly, and there are those who try to tell me that I can do anything, that I shouldn’t put limits on myself. Normally, and especially as a parent, I would side with the latter group. However, part of my journey to becoming a published writer included a realistic understanding of my limitations. I had to accept the fact that my writing will never be as lyrical as that of the Pulitzer Prize winners. However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t tell a good story or write something that others will want to read. Accepting that reality gave my mind permission to let the words out, to put them on a page for others to read – to like, to critique, to accept, to reject. Understanding my limitations has not limited me, it has freed me.
Have you ever felt the same?