November has been an interesting month. I’ve made some insights & discoveries about myself, things I didn’t expect and in ways I didn’t expect.
I started three different challenges on November 1: Art Every Day Month, NaNoWriMo, and a 100 Day Challenge within my spiritual group. I began each with typical zeal. While I’m staying on track with most of my 100 Day Challenge, the things I’m not keeping up with are things that involve the most writing. I tend to work on them when I feel called to do it, and I’m not called as often as I challenged myself to do them, and I can’t produce if I’m not called. I was feeling guilty about it, thinking it was stupid of me to do the challenge. Typical inner dialogue: “You know you can’t do all those things you said you’d do; why were you so dumb to try?!”
For NaNo, I got to 11,000+ words. I have not written more. The past week it has really bothered me, in that here-you-go-again-not-finishing kind of way.
The Art Every Day Challenge? Piece. Of. Cake! I create several pieces of art every single day, naturally as breathing. My creations are in all sorts of mediums, such as pixel art, digital collage, digital scrapping, photography, pencil sketches, graphics for my website, working on my websites, making products for my Etsy stores, and artfully wrapping orders for my stores. I can’t function well if I don’t create something each day. I think I’ve always known this, but have never admitted it in so many words.
But…writing? Working on my books, on the novels I’ve told myself I’ve wanted to write for years and years? Those I can only work on when the mood strikes, and the mood only strikes a few times a month (if that).
There’s a message there.
I haven’t given up wanting to write at least one full book (she says as she eyes three unfinished manuscripts on her desk), but I’ve realized I don’t want it as much as I want to make art each day. I prefer to spend my days working with color and shape and form and space and visual storytelling, and every now and then dabble in narrative storytelling. It’s as if art is a lifeline, and writing is a hobby.
So a couple of days ago, I let go of my guilt over NaNo, although I’m feeling very thankful that I started it yet again this year because it showed me something I needed to see. And I don’t feel so bad anymore if I don’t make some of the challenges to myself in my spiritual group, because by not meeting a particular challenge I will learn something infinitely valuable. I will gain an insight I didn’t have before. And that makes the challenge that much more precious to me, and makes me thankful that I did it.
Thankful blessings to you a day before Turkey Day. :)