November is a busy month in our household. From day 1 to day 30, we have NaNoWriMo on the brain. In the month, we also have my birthday, two birthdays of those who’ve passed, the anniversaries of passings, several friends’ birthdays, a local event we participate in each year, and, of course, Thanksgiving. These days lead to many reflections for me – and many memorials in written word.
At first, it was hard to celebrate during this overpacked month. It was hard to concentrate on writing and get anything done. I both wanted to remember and didn’t want to recall the losses and loved ones gone before.
But then, in 2012, when I released my first self-published novel, Nobody’s Girl, I did so on the anniversary of my dad’s passing. And something clicked within my soul. That day will always be a wretched day for me. Thanksgiving would never be the same. But I could relive the beautiful memories I had with my dad, placing them in story form in my various books, poems, and other works.
The days remain challenging, don’t get me wrong. I dread specific dates each year, even with the newfound joy in memorials. But writing with a purpose now, there’s so much joy that I can mingle in with the pain.
November, the month of NaNoWriMo, might not be such a heavy month for you. Still, chances are you, too, have experienced heavy, painful losses. The month – your novel writing month – remains a beautiful time in which you can place your pain, sorrow, and suffering into words that others will find hope, joy, or even commiseration in and, therefore, find healing. So let your pain out on the pages – you might just discover something utterly, beautifully wonderful therein. I certainly have.