It’s October 31st and I am terrified. I feel the same way every year when this day rolls around. I’m not afraid of the ghouls and goblins that will be roaming the streets bargaining for treats; the fact that today is Halloween has absolutely no bearing on my fear.
I fear the last day of October every year because it’s the day before November begins.
As the clock strikes midnight on Halloween night, NationalNovel Writing Month begins, and with it, all the fear and anxiety I have semi-effectively kept buried all year long bursts forth like a geyser. NaNoWriMo reminds me that I am a writer, but at the same time it seems to shine a giant spotlight on how very little writing I’ve done since last year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m pretty sure November comes around a little faster every year, and I suddenly realize all the things I planned to do to prepare for NaNoWriMo haven’t gotten done. I haven’t finished plotting in my Book Buddy. I haven’t figured out what lie my heroine believes. I haven’t even stocked my freezer with meals for my family.
I’m not ready.
And yet, here we are. Mere hours until my thirty day writing odyssey begins and I’m already feeling like a failure. I find myself wondering if I even have what it takes to be a “real” writer. Then I remember Pat’s Monday post. She began it with a Bible verse, Psalm 37:4.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Delight. Not fear. In fact, God tells us in 2 Timothy that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. A sound mind. Not a mind that is in total freak-out mode, flooded with anxiety and self-doubt.
H. Jackson Brown says, “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, and those are all the qualities I want, I need, to do what God has called me to do. I believe I am called to write. But as long as I’m dwelling on all the things I cannot do, I am missing all the things God can. (Thank you, Pat!!)
Jesus told us in John 15 that “the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine; neither can you, unless you abide in me.” So, I think that instead of fearing the dawn of November, I will go out on a limb, delight myself in the Lord, and grab all the fruit I can carry!
~Heidi Larson Geis