It's November, and what would November be without a post relating to NaNoWriMo? As I finish the second week of NaNo, panic and self-doubt have set in, along with the ever-present question- will I make the finish line? The answer is yes. This will be the third book I've drafted using NaNoWriMo. I just might be addicted to the rush. The month's timeline is like a train racing out of control, and November 30th is the station I must reach before the bomb goes off. Full disclosure, there aren't any bombs going off in my WIP. I write women's fiction. After the word count chase crunch, I'll ease into December in the mood for revisions. There was distraction after distraction during the first two weeks. There was that kind of important voting thing on Tuesday and something about a two-billion-dollar Powerball. Don't judge me. I had to play. It could have been my turn to win. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I still work a full-time "real" job. The increased physical and mental demands at work decreased my daily word count to a mere eighty-five words! Fight or flight kicked in, and I whipped out my clickity-clackity calculator. I crunched the numbers, insert nineteen forties accounting computation montage here. How many words must I complete to be finished before the projected December twenty-second date calculated by NaNoWriMo's really rude and apathetic stat bot? My point is that after the excitement of drafting a new story and being shifted into overdrive, I take time to rest and reflect. Rest is not a naughty four-letter word. It allows me to look honestly at my manuscript, my life's path, and the people in my life. Maybe the season's natural change creates this need to take account of my life, and NaNoWriMo is just the mode needed to facilitate this modification. I need to find what's working and what's not. Maybe it's because I'm preparing to do this with my current WIP in December. Painstakingly taking out the bits that don't fit and adding what I hope makes the manuscript sing. I want the same for my life. I want to be in a place and space where I'm welcomed and enjoyed. I want to continue to tweak my life until it also sings and feels like it is on a course of joy and fulfillment. Of course, as we get older, we often become more reflective and hopefully less superficial, so this may be an inevitable course and a by-product of life. But cutting people and things out of your life is infinitely more painful than eliminating words from a novel. Memories alone make us hopeful that relationships can be repaired and become healthy; unfortunately, I've learned that is not always the case. The first step of admitting the relationship no longer serves you is hard. A famous quote says people are in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I'm sure that is more paraphrasing than a direct quote but bear with me. I love that quote. It's philosophical, which I love, and it helps me focus on letting people and situations go a little easier. It is difficult to understand when it is time to move on from people with whom you were very close. I believe as we age, we naturally streamline our interactions. We have learned from life that if it doesn't support your health physically and mentally, you should not put time into relationships or space. This also applies to work and physical locations. In the end, thoughtfully deciding who adds to your story and who leaves it a meandering and unfulfilling mess like my NaNoWriMo fast drafts makes for a fulfilling and satisfying existence. Happy Writing.