Today is November 1. For most of you that means the count downs begin. The count down to Thanksgiving, to Christmas shopping, to cookie baking and candy making, to Advent, to Christmas itself.
To me November 1 is significant because it's the first day of a set of challenges, both the NaBloPoMo, now hosted on BlogHer and the NaNoWriMo. Big acronyms for crazy challenges. NaBloPoMo is the National Blog Post Month. November is the anniversary month of this event. It goes on monthly now, but it didn't always. NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month. 200,000+ people decide to spend the month of November putting their stories to paper and writing short novels 50,000 words or more.
So the writing prompt today from NaBloPoMo was, "What is your favorite part of writing?"
My favorite part of writing is that it is simply dreaming. For me, writing stories is simply about dreaming. I never gave up all those little girl fantasy dreams, all those hours of make believe, I've kept tucked away inside of me.
I went ahead and grew up, just like you're supposed to. I went to college, held jobs out there in the "real world", got married, had kids, adopted kids and so on. I've been living in this grown up real world, functioning and really living, sucking in the experiences as much as I can.
But at the same time, I've held on to the make believe of being a little girl.
When I was in grade school, maybe 7 or 8, I would play bunnies with another little girl. Every recess we would go off to a little part of the playground not much used by the other kids and we would begin our stories of make believe. We would gather little bundles of grass and those bundles were our bunnies. On the weekends, I would lay out my entire room including the closet with carpet squares and doll furniture. Barbie and her girls would have adventure after adventure. Through middle school and high school those classes I couldn't pay attention in, I was deep inside my own mind telling stories, sometimes the same scene or conversation over and over, editing in my mind, to get it just right, never writing them out because who wants to get caught in class.
Between high school and now, I've both kept the faith and lost it. I had seasons where I thought the answer was to go all in and write for my life, but I was young and didn't know what my stories were and I didn't have the courage to write them for real. I played at being a writing and oddly enough, it didn't work out. In another season, I decided to just be a for real grown up and forgo the make believe of writing dreams. Once again, oddly enough, that didn't work out either. I was not happy pretending the stories weren't in me trying to be told and I missed my time of pen to paper.
So now, it's yet another season in the journey of my life, the one where I decide that it's OK to write and tell stories. It's OK to write the stories that are mine to tell, from my make believe and stand fierce and brave in the face of judgements and misunderstandings. It's the season to see that there can be a balance between a real grown up life and the make believe story telling.
I'll be blogging daily again this month. One, because I like writing. Two, because it's a good warm up exercise, if you will, before I sit to do my story telling writing for the day. Three, because it's a challenge and it's out there to be done. I'll also this November, be putting in my efforts to write a draft of a book that's pressing on my brain to be told.
Maybe November isn't your time to write or writing isn't your challenge, but maybe it's time to find a challenge. I know people taking challenges to eat healthy-not diet, just eat healthy. I know some planning to read a book daily-not the Bible, just a book, any book. I know some who plan to break a sweat daily in exercise. I know some planning to pray daily. Because November is a "Thankful" month, it's also a good time to be challenged. 30 days. One challenge. No excuses. Try.