Sunday, November 15, 2020

A Writer’s Accolade of One

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

I finally entered a contest I finaled in. And the crowd roared, well, the crowd of one—and maybe my biggest fan—my hubby. 

The contest—NaNoWriMo. 

For those unfamiliar with that term, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is held all over the world each November with the goal of reaching at least 50,000 words in thirty days. The idea is to sit down to write every day in that month to reach that goal. Pre-Covid you could meet up in write-ins at coffee shops and bookstores where other folks were aiming to do the same thing.

While it’s not a competition per se, it is to some degree a challenge to get to 50,000 words in thirty days. I’ve entered other contests before only to receive that end of contest email, “thank you for entering, but you didn’t win this time. Please enter next year.” In NaNoWriMo, you’re not competing against people, but against the calendar.

But on two occasions, I did win NaNoWriMo. Last year was one of those years. I didn’t win money, or any type of prize. But I did win a certificate I could print out myself claiming the title of Winner. I also won the opportunity to buy the Winner shirt as well.

But I really won more than either of those. I won something of value that can’t be measured or seen—the knowledge that I had walked in obedience. I followed the directive I received from God in June 2011 when listening to a Father’s day sermon about tools in God’s tool belt. I asked Him what kind of tool I could be for His kingdom. Now that I had become an empty nester, my time of daily mom hood had changed. My employment had changed. What was next?

His answer? Write. How do I know that was His answer? My concordance had fallen open to a page from where I’d been following along with the pastor, and the word write stood out loud and clear. I stared.

I had no doubt it was a message from God. I’ve read books and journaled my entire life. So seeing the word write was not a shock. But I still wondered if I should write for something or someone besides my journals. I began to write.

But I’ve drug my oar. I’ve piddled and paddled. And barely moved the boat. 

I’ve written some here and there. But never for a long stretch. And never everyday for almost thirty days. You know, everyday, like they recommend if you’re going to be a serious writer. 

But this time I wrote from obedience. I felt the nudge to do the 50,000 words on my book. And this time I obeyed. At that moment, without questioning if I should. I’d followed the leading of Him who began this path of writing for me many years ago. 

And won.

My crowd of one that I share a home with high-fived and cheered loudly for me. And it was great and appreciated. 

But the One who sent the directive was the One whose accolade I appreciated most. 

What about you? Are you seeking the accolade of the One that gifted you with this talent and sent you on a mission to write? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 


You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen, and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina. She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. She’s the Blog Editor for Word Weavers International. A Conference Assistant for Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. A monthly contributor for The Write Conversation. A contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments. Also a regular contributor to several other blogs. 

Connect with Tammy: Blog: HTTP://WWW.TAMMYKARASEK.COM Email:


  1. That's great encouragement for those, like me, who ventured with fear and trepidation into the sea of NaNoWriMo. I did it only for the writing exercise and discipline and I'm sure reaching that 50k mark would be rewarding. Thank you for sharing your adventure.