Lent is a superb time to get fed up with yourself.
I’m a writer who’s got a novel-in-progress since, oh, forever. I blogged about it, and everyone liked the idea. I told my agent about it, and eventually she admitted she liked my idea too (she doesn’t want me to get too cocky). Best of all, I liked the idea.
But that was months ago, and it’s not done.
Now to be fair, I’ve been doing other things. I did edits and suchlike on two other novels, one of which you all went out and bought last November (right? RIGHT?). But you know…come on. It should take me 100 days to write a novel. Three months. And then another three months to edit. Nine months? A year? That’s nonsense.
Now when Lent came around, I wasn’t sure what to do, and nothing felt right. Sometimes God will give me a kick in the pants as to what it is I need to be doing, but nothing presented itself this year, and I entered Ash Wednesday with three ideas, none of them front runners. Eventually I punted and went for the no-brainer: I’d read An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales.
A few days into Lent, I was talking to my agent, and I realized: I just need to buckle down and get the book done. The problem is lack of discipline. I’m losing my will to go on.
Discipline. Oh, right, yeah.
God gave me two vocations: writer and mother/wife. If I’m not writing, I’m failing a vocation God gave me. And when is a better time to get back to doing what God wants than a time of year set aside by the Church to get closer to God’s will for your life?
So I’m doing a Lent-version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month.) I can’t sustain a NaNoWriMo pace without burning out, but I can and have sustained a slightly lower pace for indefinite periods of time.
We’ll call it my Personal Novel-Writing Lent. PerNoWriLent.
A thousand words a day. Few excuses. (Sorry, but I already had one child-related emergency, and as I was packing supplies for what I thought would end up as an ER trip, I told God, You don’t get your words today.) That should get me about 40,000 words by Easter Sunday (on top of the 35K I already had) and if I can’t just whack off an ending after that, then my agent needs to buy a train ticket up to the Swamp and roundhouse kick me in the head.
But she won’t need to do that. Because this is scrupulosity central, and I don’t want to have to tell God I didn’t write enough. Besides, I love ♥My Book♥. It deserves better than to sit neglected. It’s time to be a writer again.