Throughout the month of November I have been typing away at my computer as a first time participant of NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. For anyone unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it is a month dedicated to the craft of novel writing, and in celebration of NaNoWriMo, all willing writers are invited and challenged to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
This being my first attempt at the NaNoWriMo challenge, I opted to create my own writing goal of 1-2,000 words a day for a grand total of 30-50,000 words by the end of November.
The first couple weeks went great. My family and writing group cheered me on. Each day, word by word, I watched with excitement as my story took shape. Then, somewhere around 30,000 words, a myriad of doubts and questions began to creep in.
Will I ever finish this novel?
How will I find time to edit a story of this length?
What about book proposals, agents, and publishers?
Will anyone read this but me?
Around this time my mom shoved her iPhone in my hand. “You need to read this,” she said. Perhaps she sensed my need for encouragement, or maybe it was God using her to get to me. Either way, as I scrolled through the blog post she wanted me to read, I knew it was a message that I needed to hear.
The post was about Johann Sebastian Bach. According to the post, Bach sometimes presented entire performances of his music to empty concert halls. Even when no one came to hear his music, he insisted on performing. He believed that the music had been given to him by God, created for a reason, and therefore, needed to be played and performed regardless of the audience.
The author of the post related this story to her own writing. How the need to create is in her bones and that she is learning to persist in her task of writing a novel, regardless of what the end result may be.
As I read this post and considered how it related to me, I remembered one of my favorite scenes from the movie, P.S. I Love You. It may sound silly, but this love story about a husband and wife reminds me a lot of my relationship with God.
In the movie, Gerry, the husband, dies of an illness leaving his wife, Holly, widowed at a young age. Before his death and unbeknownst to Holly, Gerry leaves a series of love letters to help Holly get on with her life after he is gone.
One of the letters challenges Holly to go out with her friends and perform at a karaoke bar that she and Gerry used to enjoy. Holly doesn’t want to do it, but out of her love for Gerry she complies. She takes the stage before a crowded room. The music starts to play and suddenly every face before her fades away. All she can see is Gerry. She sings their song as Gerry sits and watches with the look of deepest love etched across his face.
And so it is with God. When I sit down to write, I sing to Him our love song. It is a song of beauty and truth displayed through words on the page. He is my audience of one, the only ONE who matters, and He watches me with deepest love.
My questions may never have answers. My book may never sit on a bookstore shelf, but I am learning to write regardless. I was born to create, to write, not for editors, agents, or publishers, but for God. Lucky for me, my audience of one is also my number one fan.