Why I’m Not Participating in NaNo 2016

A long time ago, I felt that I had to participate in every writing marathon that existed to prove I “really was a writer.” I suppose I’m not really any closer to answering that question than I was in 2005 but I started toying with the idea of sitting this one out when I opened my word pricessor app and saw the long, overwhelming pile of unfinished manuscripts alongside finished manuscripts in dire need of editing before I could ever dream of doing anything productive or public with any of them. I asked a writer friend if it would be too weird for me to skip this year, even perhaps extending the no marathon time until JuNoWriMo 2017 if I haven’t cleaned up my mess by then. (Even if my mess is still looming by JuNo, I’ll do June anyway because thus particular marathon has my heart and I’ll always do it, just because it’s that special…) Because she’s sensible and efficient, the kind of person who wisely manages her time and uses common sense where many of us (and by us, I’m referring to myself) do not. After our conversation, I felt a lot clearer and determined regarding my decision. I will dedicate the time that I would normally use to create just one more unfinished project that will languish in my word processor to finishing and editing the pieces I have already started. I’m definitely cheering for everyone who does undertake the challenge, though. It is a beautiful, frustrating and transformative month. Once you start, you will amaze yourself and never be the same kind of writer. Best wishes to all!

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Freely Receive

It’s corrosive, this feeling that penetrates to the deepest parts of who I am. Having almost everything ripped away from me has left my feet nowhere to rest, my soul no calm haven in which to allow itself to feel restored. But restoration, those drops of heavenly dew that might alight upon me if only I am still, if only I am patient enough to give the ragged pieces permission to heal, can be freely received into my waiting palm. Only then do I realize the gentle, tender, warm rain is already falling. The landscape before me is as brightly colored as it is in my memories; I had merely forgotten and imagined a black and white arid land, without comfort, compassion or freedom. 
Today I choose to be free. 
Today I choose infinite love. 
Today I choose restoration.