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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

The Customary NaNo Procrastinator's December 3rd Post


So, where did I last leave you last? Ah, NaNo. Yes, the marvelous thing that has sadly killed my blog for the month of November.

What happened was... I was NOT shooting for 50,000, but yet I still got there. Yes, you read that right. I made it to 50,000I'm still wondering how it happened!

Circumstances prevented me from even trying to get 50k... at first. My good friend Ashley was coming to stay for a week, and I knew I wouldn't be writing at all while she was here. So rather than get stressed when I was way behind after she left, I decided to just write as much as I possibly could when she wasn't here and see where that got me.

I started off with a bang, making the required NaNo wordcount of 1,667 words per day, even though I wasn't trying. I made about 5,000 words that week, keeping right on target for the word count goal. Then Ashley arrived. That was one of the funnest weeks of my life (post about that coming soon), but even so, I did not get any writing done, just as I had thought would happen. The week after she left was filled with just trying to catch up on daily life. I don't think I even started writing until halfway through the week. At this point, it's pretty much all a blur, so I don't remember how many words I got that week. I was just trying to survive. :P

On November 23rd, somehow I got to 23k. Then Thanksgiving struck. That morning I gave up on trying to write anything, especially since I had a bad headache.

I had posted on the NarniaWeb NaNo thread earlier in the week, saying that I didn't think I was going to make it, but maybe I would next year. A fellow NWebber, Orious, gave me a much-needed pep-talk. (Orious, if you ever see this, hope you don't mind that I quoted you. ;)

MountainFireflower (me) wrote:
Maybe next year I'll make it to 50k.

Orious wrote:
NO! NO! This year! You can totally still win! It's been done! I knew a girl who wrote 50k in five days and you only have to write half of that in five days! Write, write, write! You can hit that 50,000, don't give up! Don't give up! Pretty please?  

...In the unheard of, undesired, and unwanted event that you do go down. Go down screaming bloody murder. Don't give up without a hugely monsterous fight.

I began to think that maybe, just maybe, it was possible. After all, if someone wrote 50k in 5 days, what was half that in 5 days? Soon I began to get crazy notions. I decided to try as hard as I could, and give NaNo the fight it deserved. Even if I didn't make 50k, at least I would have tried. I opened Write or Die. In spite of my heavy headache, I wrote, and ended up writing 1,000 words in 15 minutes. But I still didn't know how I'd possibly get to 50k, especially since my plot was dragging along. Enter Grant Stokely.

He crashed into my story, literally, and within paragraphs had turned my story in a completely different direction that I expected, but one that I wholeheartedly loved. He took the reigns of my story in his completely capable hands and showed me that I had just needed a change of pace. Soon my plot, my characters, and my theme took on new life, and I decided that this book was worth it after all. I was fighting. Hard.

Thanksgiving Day I had 25k. By the end of the day I had 32k. I still have no idea how I did it. All thanks and credit goes to God. He's the one who had his hand on my book, and gave me renewed vigor. Without him, I never would have finished.

The rest of those 4 days start to blend together. I think I got to 42k on November 26th. November 27th I only wrote 3,000 words due to my schedule and being completely brain fried, but I didn't feel bad about it since the race against time was getting less intense. November 28th was the day I finally reached the 50,000 word mark. I had resolved that I would finish it that day rather than finish it the next day which was going to be very busy. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and by the end of the day I had a purple winner's bar.

Getting the purple bar took a little doing though. For some reason, the NaNo word count validator took away a thousand words or so. Due to that little detail, I stayed up even later than I wanted to, trying to get those last thousand words done. I also discovered that Google Docs has a 'select all' button, and I don't have to highlight all the text myself. Boy, was THAT a lifesaver!

So, long story short (funny, this story is already longer than I thought it would be), I won NaNo. It was the last thing I expected to do, especially this year, but it showed me that God has different plans than my own sometimes. And that sometimes, what we think is impossible isn't so impossible.

NaNo is a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it's taught me some great lessons about writing, about life, and about the God who strengthens me to do all things.

I totally can't wait for next year! :)


  1. WAY TO GO!!!! And awesome blog post. ;) I'm not sure I could even write about my nov like that.

  2. It took me the whole evening. :P And I'm running on 6 hours of sleep!

  3. Wow, I am amazed at you! Unbelievable. I couldn't have done that myself.... You completely blow me out of the water with your mad writing skills!


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