The Great Writing Challenge

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Sometimes, despite our best efforts to accomplish something, stuff gets in the way. When that happens, it can be easy to just throw your hands in the air and give up, citing life in general as an excuse not to pursue something. Becoming a parent magnifies this about a hundred million fold. When you’re responsible for human lives besides your own, your own interests play second fiddle. It takes a concentrated effort to find the motivation and energy to achieve a goal.

Case in point, my son just came in the room while I was writing this.

“Mommy, when you’re done with the computer, can you read this book to me?”

Now, this request would be difficult to deny no matter what, but when you add giant blue eyes in an adorable, sweet little three year old face.. Well, there really just isn’t a choice.

So I stopped trying to get my write on and read The Trouble With Thor to a very happy little boy. Obvious, right? You’re a parent, kids come first. You don’t deny them attention so that you can write a blog post.

It is that simple, and it’s totally not. Yes, parenting your children should always come first. But in order to be the best parent you can be, you need to take care of yourself too. You need to find something you enjoy outside of parenthood, something that connects you to the person you were before you became Mommy or Daddy. It keeps you sane and grounded. It shows your kids that you value yourself. And it insures you will never utter the words, “Well, I COULD have been (fill in the blank), but I had you.”

Since I have a particularly difficult time keeping the ball rolling once I start a “me” project, I’ve decided to challenge myself to achieve a daily goal.

According to Stephen King’s On Writing, if you want to be a writer you should write at least a thousand words every day. Well, I’m pretty sure that Stephen King has never been a nursing mom of three who works full time, so I feel ok adjusting that goal to something a little more attainable.

My goal is to write 500 words a day. Period. No end date, no set time period; just 500 words, every day from here on out. I don’t care what I’m writing about. It can be fiction, a blog post, totally random drivel; it doesn’t matter. My only guideline is word count. Much of it will probably end up on this blog, but I’ll also post updates from time to time just to keep myself in check.

So, who wants to join me? Parent on not, overcoming the daily grind to pursue your passion is tough. I’d love to hear from anyone who is taking on a challenge of their own. Heck, I’d love to hear from anyone who has made it happen. A little inspiration goes a long way.

Note: You may be wondering why I can’t write when my children are asleep at night. I can, and do sometimes. But, when you rarely get more than 5 or 6 non consecutive hours of sleep at night, by the time 8PM rolls around you’re pretty much brain dead. Therefore, I take time when I can get it to write a few lines here and there; lunch breaks at work, quiet time when the big kids are playing and the baby is napping, basically any spare moment I have. It’s not ideal, but it works for now.

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