Last week I told you I’d set myself a new writing challenge: I signed up for NaNoWriMo — that’s NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth, November, when thousands of people commit to writing a 50,000 first draft of a novel in 30 days.
Well, it is October 31, so I have not written a word, but I’ve had my first NaNoWriNightmare.
I’ve been doing this series on “the writer’s inner life.” What is more definitively about your inner life than your dreams?
NaNoWriMo dreams can make a fellow feel a bit neurotic.
My friends the Desert Fathers and Mothers had a few things to say about dreams.
Some brothers came to Antony to tell him their dreams and find out whether they were true or whether they were illusions of the demons. They had set out with a donkey which had died on the journey.
When they reached Antony, before they had told him anything, he said ‘Why did your donkey die on the journey?’
They said ‘How did you know that, abba?’
He said, ‘The demons showed it to me.’ (Discretion, no. 2)
The Desert Fathers assumed that the demons were pretty well informed. It wasn’t by miraculous powers. They just got around, and kept their eyes peeled. Then they used the information to make you think they were actually God.
Antony wasn’t fooled. He knew who gave him the information, but he knew the information was true.
And so it goes with dreams. Some dreams are straight from God. Some from elsewhere. Either way you might learn something.
In my dream NaNoWriMo was on, and I was having trouble finding a place to sit down and write. And the time was ticking away…
Wherever it came from it is a realistic assessment of what I’m about to undertake. To name just one of the challenges, I live in Pittsburgh, and my kids go to public school. That means they are home a lot.
E.g., next week we have the presidential election, and of course the schools are closed that day.
- Because those grade schoolers need to be responsible citizens and vote. No, wait, that can’t be it.
- Because the teachers need to spend their time voting — because it takes all day. No, that’s not it.
- Because if they wait till after school at 3:50 the polls will be closed. Nope.
Whatever the reason, my chances of hitting my word count on Election day are slim.
Then Friday is Veterans’ Day, and of course the schools are closed again.
- Because so many kids are veter— No, that can’t be right.
- Because there are so many activities in the community to learn about and honor veterans. No, that’s not it either.
Anyway, that’s two down for week two of NaNoWriMo before it begins. And Thanksgiving is coming. Plus there is a Sabbath every week.
I think I know where that stressful dream scenario came from.
So I’m praying I can learn how to flesh out scenes with action and dialogue really fast. Because it looks like NaNoWriMo is going to come down to something like NaNoWriWeekAndAHalfOrSo. I really hope you’ll pray for me too.
Your turn: I’d love to hear your NaNoWriWorries or encouraging words in the comments below!
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