The Real November Victory by Julie Arduini

If you write or follow authors, you’re most likely seeing badges and social media avatars pop up that declare one thing–victory. As in that person conquered the NaNoWriMo challenge by writing at least 50,000 words in this month. I’ve earned that badge once, and it truly is a win. Not only are words hard to come by, so is time.

And that’s where I’m at with my NaNo story. Time got to me. I knew November was going to be busy, but it was one of the busiest months I can remember. Medical appointments, travel, school meetings, ministry events, other writing deadlines, wife and mom moments, and a house to take care of. On top of that, we have an extended family member who has been in the hospital. I also didn’t count on being so overwhelmed that I would leave my laptop behind by accident when I visited my family 300 miles away. That laptop had everything–log in info, critiques, edits, and yep, my NaNo story.

So as I type this, I crossed the 17K threshold. Not close to 50, not by a long shot.

Yet, I’m declaring this month a win.

How can that be?

This Martha enjoyed God-orchestrated Mary moments.

I’m a classic introvert and being a writer doesn’t help that part of my personality. I used to grieve being that teen who was not invited to the party. These days I cringe at invitations. I’d rather stay home. I give so much of me in what I do that there is nothing left for social time. It’s easy for me to say no to everything that comes my way because it’s just not in me to go out and find a recharge in an event. To me, it’s a drain.

Yet God asked that for this season I participate in a ministry called Praise and Coffee. Since March, I’ve invited ladies to join me around Greater Youngstown for a night out where we develop friendships around coffee and light refreshments. It’s the last thing I’d feel comfortable doing, let alone attending. Yet this month we had a tremendous meeting that God continues to use to love on His daughters. Had I stayed home and contributed to my NaNo word count, I would have missed a blessing. Twenty blessings, in fact.

Our local Praise and Coffee group is just one chapter that meets throughout the country.

I also enjoyed dinners and impromptu conversations. Again, my temptation is to be so task oriented when I’ve been out and about that I get what I need and head home. This month God provided many opportunities to pour into others through encouragement. I had a night out with my husband and two other couples that no words to a novel could compare. That dinner was filling beyond the food. I never could have received anything sustaining from staying home and advancing my word count.

There will be a day, I believe, when I will have serious deadlines and I believe when that happens, it will be a season where I pull back and rely on others to take the social lead I seemed to have going right now. God knows, and that was my summary when someone asked me about the month.

He knew everything I needed to do, see, speak, and read. He also knew how much I was going to write.

For that, this month is a total win.

How about you? Are you plugging away on your NaNoWriMo novel? Finished? How are you feeling about where you are at the end of the month?

About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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