There is less than a week until NaNoWriMo starts. Thirty days has September, April, June and November – so that makes it 6 days to go. It’s DS’s 17th birthday tomorrow. He’s right in the middle of end of year projects and exams right now and we’ve decided not to have a party until all of that is over. Nevertheless, I need to go and get some birthday breakfast cereal for him – we will still celebrate tomorrow.
We have a tradition that sweet, sugary birthday cereals can be eaten as part of the birthday celebration and the birthday person gets to choose which cereal they would like to eat. It meant that as the kids were growing up, we weren’t asked for those dreadful cereals every time we went through the aisle at the supermarket. And it begins the birthday morning with a bit of fun. So I need to go to the store and get some Froot Loops. But I don’t want to go do that yet. I might write a bit then walk to the shops and buy cereal and then walk home and put dinner on and the write a bit more. I would be very encouraged if I could actually write 2000 words in one day at least once before NaNo starts, seeing as that will be my target every day throughout November. I’m really struggling to see how I will pull this one off. But then, perhaps I will, and the whole idea was to use it to force me to spend more time writing. So the challenge is real but if I manage it, the payoff will be real too. The pressure is probably imaginary.
We’ve had church, I led this morning, it went well, thanks for asking. And we’ve had lunch. Now I’m sitting out on the balcony in the sunshine on my laptop just thinking about how blessed I am. And writing, of course. I have my journal here, my book to take notes from, and my computer to write on. I’m living the dream (for me).
I was talking to DH last night about how much I love taking notes. I love reading things and writing notes on them. I am a sucker for notebooks but I have never allowed myself to indulge much past the consistent journal that I have kept since grade ten. But now that I am being more intentional about writing I have read a few blogs and writing books and found that note-taking is part of the deal. If you write non-fiction then you need to research and take heaps and heaps of notes before you even think about writing. If you write fiction then notes and research are also very important for the details in your book. Copying swathes of text from writers that you admire helps you to figure out how to phrase sentences for best effect. All of it is worthwhile. All the things I enjoy are part of what I actually want to be. It’s amazing!
DH of course told me that I was crazy! No sane person likes to take notes in his opinion. But then, I don’t listen to him. He once spent eight hours on a Saturday setting up a computer for me – reinstalling software and transferring all my data over. He totally enjoyed the day. He’s crazy!
I was talking to someone after church today and she actually offered – out of the blue – to make a salad for the upcoming men’s spit roast night. She offered! She loves making food for people and, get this, she loves making cold calls to businesses to ask if they have any goods they might like to give to for example, a school fair, or something like that! Crazy! I would much prefer to be stuck up the front of a church service talking to 300 people than to be making a salad for a men’s night.
The thing is, we all have our gifts and talents. And we also have our skills and things we are trained in. We all like different things and excel at different things. So why do we think we have to be alike? Why does someone who can make beautiful food that people enjoy eating, look at me up the front of church and sigh, ‘I wish I could be like her.’ We all need to work together and the most successful organisation would be one where each gift is admired for what it is and put to best use. (Don’t get me started on administrators! They are the most useful and most undervalued members of the church (and other volunteer organisations). We need you! Please use your gifts!)
I know there’s a lot of stuff out there about ‘if you find what you are really supposed to do with your life, then life will become a dream and you’ll never work again, because it will all feel like play’ and I’m not sure that I agree with that whole sentiment. But can I encourage you, if you enjoy something, maybe you could look for ways to utilise it to bless or encourage someone else. Just because you find that particular thing easy, doesn’t mean it is less worthwhile. It might mean that you should invest time and energy into it because it will be the best use of your time. You might just find that you stumble across happiness on the way.
And believe me, what you find to be easy, I will probably find to be difficult. I’ll help you out by using my talents, if you help me out by using yours. Deal?