Facing Challenges by Stephanie Nickel

If you follow my check-ins over at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests, you’ll know my interests and endeavours are all over the map.


This past weekend I attended a Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals conference. As you may know, I am a recently certified labour doula and have signed up for the Pregnancy Fitness Educator course. At one point I considered midwifery. One thing led to another, and now I’m on a parallel path.


Family is incredibly important to me and I realize more than ever that I have to make spending time with them a priority. My hubby was able to join me and we added a couple of vacation days to the time in Ottawa. I’m glad for the time I can spend with our two kids who still live at home and the FB chats I have with Son #2. It isn’t as easy to spend time with family who live far away, however, but I look forward to seeing a number of them at Christmas time.


Life is challenging for all of us and finding that balance between our writing and all the other areas of our lives can seem overwhelming.


For those of us who aren’t full-time writers, we have to steal those moments – and maybe even an hour here and there – to pursue this facet of who we are. I find entering online challenges keeps me plugging away. I signed on for OctPoWriMo and have written 28 of the 31 poems I promised myself and my fellow poets I’d pump out this month. (Thankfully, they don’t have to be spectacular literary pieces – or even “good.” Whew!)


If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that I signed up for PiBoIdMo again this year. The object: come up with 30 children’s picture book ideas before the end of November. Writing picture books is one of my I-hope-to-do-it-someday goals.


Many of you already know the benefits of accepting a writing challenge. Does the phrase NaNoWriMo mean anything to you? (grin) One year, I’ll jump onboard – Lord willin’ and the crik don’t rise, that is. (I guess I shouldn’t kid around about the crik risin’ with Hurricane Sandy having its way with several communities. We’ve only had a little rain and some gusty winds. Okay, so while I was re-reading this, the wind started to pick up. I’m very thankful for a warm, dry home in which to take refuge.)


So, my fellow ROWers, dive into NaNoWriMo, sign up for PiBoIdMo, or scout out another challenge better suited to your interests and your writing style. I’m sure there are countless writing challenges floating around cyberspace.


And if you don’t want to commit to anything formally, well, you always have ROW80. That’s really what we do when we declare our goals and put them out there for the world to see. We’re challenging ourselves and inspiring others to commit to this craziness called writing.


Our dreams and aspirations are as varied as we are. Our motivation – to use a cliché – extends from the ridiculous to the sublime. I look forward to meeting even more of you as the final round of 2012 continues.


Happy Writing!


Stephanie Nickel


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