NaNoWriMo & Bad Feet

 In Author

Many writers greet November with equal parts dread and anticipation because itís National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. For thirty days, veteran and novice writers join together to eke out fifty thousand words at a frenzied pace. This works out to around 1667 words per day for the month of November. For all the non-writers out there, fifty thousand words is a bunch. Most novels run eighty to a hundred thousand words, but fifty thousand is a pretty good rough draft.

This is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo, and Iíve never even come close to the fifty thousand mark. My first thought this year was ďWhy bother?Ē after all, I knew I wouldnít achieve the set goal. Iím a perfectionist when it comes to my writing. I canít move on until each paragraphóand sometimes each sentenceóreflects what I want to say. Translation: Iím SLOW. Why torture myself with NaNoWriMo? But then I remembered my bad feet.

Running is my favorite form of exercise. Cycling makes me feel like Iím going to fall, and swimming (honestly) makes me feel like Iím going to drown. And so I run, ignoring my aging hips, the ACL replacement in my right knee, and the surgery Iíve had on both feet. But hereís the thing: I donít run marathons, and I donít run every day. Instead, I run 12-15 miles a weekóenough to get my heart and those endorphins pumping without hurting myself. And Iím happy with that.

Ditto for NaNoWriMo. I donít have to force out fifty thousand words in a mad frenzy this month to participate. I just have to write. And thatís enough. Sometimes we spend too much time focusing on what we canít do. Itís self-defeating and unproductive. Concentrate on what you can do, and youíll be surprised how much you can accomplish.

So Iíll keep writing, and Iíll keep running. And perhaps one day, Iíll discover that my physical ailments and perfectionism have been blessings in disguise. They might even be helping me reach my goals. Who knows? If it wasnít for bad feet, maybe I wouldnít write so much.

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