It's been an incredible journey so far. Its December now, NaNoWriMo is over. The Five Barred Gate is complete: 70,664 words, 25 chapters, First Draft. Now to place it on the back burner and turn it down to a simmer. I have two trusted individuals who I know will read the very rough draft and take notes for when I come back to it in January. I am feeling a little anxious about it. How will they receive it? Will my thoughts be conveyed onto paper the way I wanted them to? I know, this being the first draft, it will be filled with spelling and grammar errors, plot holes, timeline issues, and boring dialogue. I have never just written without looking back and making corrections along the way. It was difficult at first, but as I dove into it and made the adjustment of throwing sand into the sandbox of my draft and remembering that I will build the sandcastles later, it became more natural. Then it becomes about reaching the goals. Which I am proud to say that I reached and exceeded.
I can't wait to get back into it in January. I miss my characters. I miss the little world I created for them to live in. Flawed as it was, for a month, it was home. I still have dreams about the town and the people. A couple of them I plan on adding to the story and give it more depth. I enjoyed being able to take those dreams and create a person and direct his path. I guess in a way Jacob is a child of mine. I spent more time with him in a month, than I did with David in "Waiting" in the year it took me to write that.
In the past month, I have learned some things I would like to pass on. Lessons on the awesome person of God. First, he can guide us to accomplish things that we look at as insurmountable. In the beginning, I doubted that I could write 50K words for a novel. I didn't think I could conjure up that much to sustain a story. I guess I should have learned from "Waiting." The original story was only 1800 words. But once I decided to go beyond the dream and to continue it, it turned into 6700 words. Three and a half times in length. And TFBG ended up being over 10 times the length of "Waiting." Challenging, yes. Insurmountable, not in the least. Once I became dedicated.
Second, I learned dedication. I have mentioned about the 21-day rule. I'd have to say that the habit set in much earlier than three weeks into it. I think it came when I signed up to do the whole NaNoWriMo event. I committed to the 50K in 30 days. The word says in Proverbs 16:3, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." And by golly, how he established my plans. I found the direction I didn't even know I had. True, there were times of severe writer's block. But to continue on, even when it seemed I was writing gibberish, I didn't give up. Dedicated to finishing. Sand in the sandbox.
Finally, I learned that I don't have to be so serious. I have been much like my main character, Jacob. He looks at things in life and finds the negative. He has a gift of perception, but as life happened to him, he became coarse. Instead of speaking his heart to avoid missed opportunities, he negatively spoke his mind, pointing out what was bad instead of what was good about a given situation. Writers are their worst critic. I have been critical about myself, my work, my attitude, who I think I am as a person, and where this new direction my life is taking me. God has shown me that it doesn't matter. None of it. As long as I am following the direction he sets before me, I don't have to be concerned about how others view it.
God has a plan for each one of us. Each of you reading this have gifts and desires to do things, and dreams. We are all in need of guidance to accomplish the things God sets before us. We all need the dedication to commit those things to God. We all need to learn to not take it seriously when others look down upon what we are trying to accomplish. I have no clue where this journey I am on is going to take me. All I do know is that I am seeking His guidance to lead me. I am dedicated to seeing it through in victory or defeat. And I have promised myself I will not take myself, or anyone else for that matter, seriously when doubt peeps out its little head out. We both can accomplish whatever we desire. Guided by Christ, Dedicated to His direction, Shunning all doubt.
A smooth path is not promised. It may be filled with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but with the Lord being the light that shines on that path, nothing can stop you.
God Bless each of you. Thank you for your prayers and support.