By Stacy Johnson
I'm slowly learning that I can't do everything I want to do. November is just not my month for adding one more thing to my to do list. It is the end of football season (playoffs, banquets, senior night, homecoming, and other booster club demands), competitive cheer season kicks in, Pop Warner cheer competitions finish, the beginning of basketball season and let's not forget parenting my eight children and supporting my husband as a football and basketball coach. I'm swamped in November.
Yet each year I dedicate myself to writing 50,000 words in one month. Let's be real people, I have a hard time writing a blog post every other week and it is usually less than 500 words. It is also the fourth month of the school year for my kids and I'm already so sick of signing papers that I tell them to tell me what it is for and sign it for me. I know, bad mom.
So, why is it that I feel compelled to try every single year?
Because I love to have something that forces me to write every day, that's why. I'm not a novelist, I've come to realize that. I just hope that the one time I did win will be good enough to carry me until I win again someday. I've participated in poetry month activities and I know I'm not a poet. I've tried my hand at marketing articles for a local real estate agent's newsletter and I never thought I understood marketing concepts very well. Each time I try something new, I gain valuable skills and become a more rounded writer.
When I do something out of my comfort zone, I feel a greater sense of my talent as a writer and my confidence level goes up. So, in between booster club meetings, football and basketball games, cheer competitions, youth activities, activity days, scout calling responsibilities, making dinner, cleaning up messes, grocery shopping and date nights, I carve away at something I love even though it takes me away from the things I'm comfortable at.
Someday it will be my season to write a novel again, even if it is just to win the coveted NaNo award...until then I will keep starting even though it means I ultimately will not finish. Some writing is better than no writing, right? In the meantime, maybe I'll work on the edits for the NaNo novel I did finish a few years ago...