Written by Karen D. Swim
When I committed myself to National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) I had no idea how it would impact my days. Before the month began, I planned to awaken at 5 am, go for my morning run and then write. By 8 am I would be at my desk and ready to continue on with my pre-NaNo schedule.
My plan fell apart on day 1. 5am came and went but I never saw it. I awakened in a panic at 6:30 am and groggily tried to reorganize my day. I took deep breaths and fell back on Plan B, write, work, then work out. By 10 am, I was on to Plan C. Who knew that the first 1700 words would not fly from my fingers in one hour? On Day 1, I had a new respect for NaNo, like running a marathon it was a distance that demanded respect.
I plodded through week one. It was neither smooth nor elegant but I stumbled through. In week two I fell into a groove, still a little sore from week one but the movement was getting easier. My glee over finding the right gear was however, short lived. In week two, every client that had thought of using my services decided to sign me up. I found myself knee deep in a business feast (no complaints mind you!) with little time left to breathe between bites. My idyllic dreams of luxuriously writing, working and tweeting went up in a puff of smoke. Getting up at 5 or even 6 was out of the question when I was going to bed at 1am.
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My phone was ringing off the hook, my days were filled with back to back meetings, and in spite of my persistence my email climbed to over 800 messages. My father, who is recovering from a stroke was also still hospitalized. I was being pulled in so many directions I felt a little like Gumby. With only so many hours in the day, I dropped several of my spinning plates. I was tired and found myself crying over cell phone commercials, and falling snow. I was a mess but I was still writing.
In week three, the work kept pouring in but my Dad finally came home from the hospital. I was still on target with NaNo and somehow I had settled into the craziness of my life. I sometimes forgot to eat and had more bad hair days than I care to share but I made it.
Now, here we are in the final stretch, week 4. I am roughly 4500 words away from goal, and will finish ahead of the November 30th deadline. The words are pouring out so fast that I can’t type fast enough. Business is still coming in and I am managing my customer’s expectations and enjoying the work. I have missed tweeting and blog commenting and visiting with friends. It has been a wild and wacky ride but in spite of it all, something magical happened this month.
I pushed the boundaries of my limitations and learned that I am capable of more than I believed. I failed early and often and am thankful for the lessons. I grew more passionate about all of you. I really missed you and had time to really reflect on how thankful I am to be part of this wonderful blogging community.
Even though I was MIA (missing in action) when I popped my head up in twitter or stopped by your place for a visit, I was warmly welcomed. I got messages of encouragement and support and continued to be inspired by your talent. So it seemed appropriate on this Thanksgiving Eve to say THANK YOU. You let me in your space, and I don’t take that for granted. You so graciously share your ideas, dreams, and fears. As you learn and grow you help me to do the same. You make me laugh and sometimes make me cry. This blogging thing is so much more than publishing content, it is being part of a community of people. You are my neigbhors and friends and I am just so happy to share space with all of you!
Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for each and every one of you!