Thankful in Failure

I’ve failed. Winning NaNo is not going to happen this year. Family events and dramas that cannot be ignored devoured too much time and energy.

Still, I’m thankful. Without too much trouble, I can come up with a long list of reasons.

1. I had the privilege and honor of serving my relative in her final days. Had I not had this experience, I would not been able to imagine describing it in this way. I’m also grateful that her time of suffering was short, and that she is now with the Lord, where there are no more tears and no more sickness.

2. My husband demonstrated (for the millionth time) his support for my writing, encouraging me to give NaNo a try. Nearly every day he asked if I’d found time to write.

3. I learned a lot about how I write and how to be more productive. And which of my excuses for not writing are pretty lame.

4. My second novel is at least halfway drafted. If I hadn’t tried NaNo, I’d have zero done.

5. As I wrote, I found that while I had the plot and structure well worked out, I could have done more on character development and setting details. Now I know what to work on next year.

6. Writing did give me an escape from the melancholy event that was fast approaching, almost as good as getting away to an exotic place.

7. Even though some of the family drama has been painful (all the more because I abhor drama and try to avoid it at all costs), I now have material for some new characters and some great dialogue.

8. God has been with us all, every step through this very difficult time.

9. The time I spent with my relative and her daughters has given me memories I will cherish the rest of my life.

This week was consumed with wrapping up loose ends after my relative’s passing and Thanksgiving preparations. Instead of writing, I made my husband’s favorite apple pie.

I’ve been reading a lot about the need to write every day, to keep that professional discipline in force. Sometimes, though, it’s more important to love the family and friends you have around you, to treasure them while you can. While I’ve often thought of my favorite books as old friends, they are no substitute for the living and breathing variety.

So I’m thankful for the people in my life, the lessons I’ve learned in success and failure, and the many ways God has blessed me and my family this year.

What are you thankful for? I’d love to see part of your list in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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