What I learned from Nanowrimo

I recently finished a month long writing challenge called the National Novel Writing Month. It was thirty days of writing with the goal of achieving 50,000 words by the 30th. I finished this morning with 109 pages, 50, 706 words, and 1, 132 paragraphs to show for it. Thirty days ago, the prospect of writing 50,000 words in a month was, to say the least, a daunting task. In fact, I tried to lessen the difficulty by claiming I’d pursue 40,000 instead. Little by little, though, I stuck to it and finished. The challenge itself has taught me not only about writing but also about discipline, pursuing your dreams, and the power of story. I thought I’d share a few insights I gleaned from the challenge.

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Time is on our side

The perpetual clock of life never stops ticking away. Ever notice how easily the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months and the months into years? Time passing away should never surprise us and yet it does. If you’re like me, you have days and weeks that go by like a blur, and at the end of the month you find yourself asking, “Where’d the time go?” I have a habit of getting into these ‘reflective’ moods. Hours will pass by and I don’t even realize that I’m stuck in my head thinking.

Sometimes I carry this reflective mood into weeks and even months. Time will pass by and I’m struck with the realization that this particular moment of time will never repeat itself. There will never be another October 2012. Now, hopefully, I get to see another October next year, but it will be different. This particular one is gone forever. I know–that thought is a little pessimistic, but it’s true.

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Going Home

I’ve always wondered if heaven will feel familiar. When we arrive, will it be like walking down our street or eating at our favorite restaurant? I’m not sure, of course, but I can’t imagine it feeling foreign. When we get there, I don’t envision needing an orientation meeting. I doubt Peter is standing at the gates with a clipboard and red double-decker bus, instructing us to board for the four o’clock sight-seeing tour. No, I imagine heaven is familiar. Instead of feeling lost, we recognize the sights and sounds. It will feel like going home.

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Birthday Weekend

My wife and I have a tradition called Birthday Weekend. No matter what day of the week your birthday falls on, you get to celebrate your birthday the subsequent weekend. I’m not sure exactly when this tradition started, but we’ve stuck to it for several years now. Recently it was my wife’s birthday and we pronounced the biannual arrival of birthday weekend in our house. We were both excited to celebrate not just one day, but all weekend. I’ve learned that parties can always go a little longer in my opinion.

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