For those of you just joining as a follower this year, you missed an exciting time last November. In November, a online community of thousands sets aside the entire month to write a novel of 50,000 words or more. It's not a "contest" per se' but you are encouraged to finish and there are forums, suggestions, ideas, advice and help for you at every turn.
There is information to help you deal with writers block, to help you find a place to study, to help when kids keep interrupting, how to write during the Thanksgiving holiday, what to name your main characters', nieces' friend. Its great to get on there and find help in whatever area you need. What's even better is to see others that are having your same struggle. You feel like as my dad would say "fellows in the same ship" and all of a sudden you don't feel alone in your fight.
One day step-parenting, and second marriages, and single parenting and all of the other "taboo" things that trip us up and cause us to stumble will be talked about so openly that people will be able to get help and not feel so alone anymore. Until then we have to use blogs, articles, stories and the like to lift up one another, encourage and tell the truth about our situations so others can pattern us and have hope.
For example, My husband and I just went in for a counseling check-up session to make sure that we were communicating properly and to hear innovative ways and suggestions to do it better. Most people would not talk about counseling or admit that they do it, but maybe if a couple hears that we regularly check in and stay on top of our issues that it will encourage them to not fear it, but embrace the fact that we are imperfect people, married to imperfect people, raising imperfect people.
As I get prepared for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) I look forward to the camaraderie as much as I do the writing. The novel writing is fun. You are writing off the top of your head and its exhilerating and interesting as you see raw ability being pushed to the limit. Its also just a fun to log on on a day that you can't go any further and see 20 people send you a message in 2 minutes encouraging you and helping you to push forward. I hope that all areas of my life will be encouraging, fun, supportive and motivating like that.