What a month it's been. When I started out on my Resolution Challenge journey, November was the month I was looking forward to the most but also secretly frightened of. Why I hear you ask? Four simple words - National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) - a competition to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days.
On the 1st November I sat at my laptop, opened up a fresh document and set about writing a young adult fantasy story. Nine days later I hit 50,296 words and celebrated with a pepperoni pizza and a bottle of wine! I threw myself at this challenge with everything I had in me, I blocked out chunks of time in my diary, freed up my weekends and showed the kids how to work the white blob (microwave) and the silver blob (dishwasher).
I attached one of my favourite quotes from Barbara Sher, above my desk:
'As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.'
That's what this challenge was like for me and it paid off - I'm a NaNo Winner!
I am putting down my speedy win to being an over excited newbie in the land of NaNo, I'm sure that next year I will relax slightly (we can live in hope). Of course I also realise I just publicly signed up for NaNo 2014 - better start thinking about book two then.
I didn't sit back and leisurely post on numerous forums for the remainder of November however, oh no, I had started something wonderful and I didn't want to stop, so I carried on writing. I wrote some short stories, started on book two in my Wellbeing Workshop series and plotted out my blog posts for the year to come. I also began the process of editing my NaNo novel.
I then received a very positive rejection letter through the post about one of my short stories, it was a 'not now' rather than a 'no' which told me I was on the right track but my timing was wrong on this occasion. How very uplifting.
I was almost as pleased with this outcome as I had been with my NaNo win. I was being taken seriously as a writer and an editor had taken the time to offer me feedback, pass me another winner badge I'm on a roll!
Many NaNoers will not have hit the 50k this year for numerous reasons and my positive rejection letter got me thinking about how I would have felt if I hadn't managed it.
Would I have felt like a failure? Would I have hidden myself away from all the masses of people I had told about my challenge? Hell no, I would have said, 'I gave it a go but it was a not now moment, there's always next year.'
If I have learnt anything from the challenges I set myself this year, it's that 'failure' is a vital part of my growth. I'm not going to be afraid of the word 'failure' any more, I choose to call any blip in my life a 'not now' moment.
Everyone faces their own challenges, not necessarily a NaNo writing challenge, but more likely a weight loss challenge, a career change or ill health. Each challenge we face will be so much easier if we know, without any doubt in our minds, that those 'not now' moments may stall us, trip us up or affect other parts of our lives, but if we remember to pursue our dreams, our weight loss campaign, or work on improving our health, then life will wake up for us and we will be back on track in no time.
To prove my point, I would love to share with you my recent interview with the Female Entrepreneur Association which shows how I turned my life around and started my own Holistic Health business. Take a look at the full interview here.
To my fellow NaNoers - CONGRATULATIONS! Whether you reached 50k or not, we took part and had a blast, see you all next year!