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Giving back but not giving up by Mikael

Well, first off, today is Donation Day for National Novel Writing Month. I’m all for inspiring students to be creative and I’m feeling particularly generous–so I donated 17 bucks (my average word count per day is just below that–I figured it would be a good number) and got this cool badge. :)

As much as I would like to say that NaNoWriMo has been easy, it hasn’t been. The first week was cake–I got ahead in my word count goals and was well on my way to the 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. The first weekend was even more amazeballs because I met with my local NaNo writing group, and made some awesome new friends.

But last week, something threw an unexpected hitch in my month and it’s been a struggle ever since.

My step-sister Joana passed away last week. It’s been hard to accept because she was so young (43), but it gets a little easier each day. Last week though, I didn’t feel like doing much at all. Apparently that’s acceptable behavior when grieving. It was hard and there wasn’t a day at work that I didn’t cry at least once. One of the days I actually locked myself in a closet for a half hour so no one would see me cry.

I did write, but I just barely made it by with the recommended daily word amount (1,667). This made me extremely glad that I was ahead of my goals at the beginning of the month or else I’d be super behind now.

Now, on top of insanity at work (a billion things going on!), I’m putting together the memorial video for my sister (the memorial is this weekend) and continuing on my trek with NaNoWriMo (I have over 23,000 words; there’s no way I’m quitting now). Tough month? You bet.

If there’s one thing that my sister’s death has taught me is that you never know when your time will be up. Many of her students at AUAF (American University of Afghanistan) have come forward in the past week to share how big of an impact she had on them, saying what a great teacher and friend she was. Those posts on FB make my heart ache. She should still be here, sharing her wisdom with her many students and doing something amazing with the Ph.D. that she just earned this year.

Consider my donation to NaNoWriMo as a tribute of sorts to my sister… she made a lasting impact on her students. Here’s $17 dollars–maybe I can make a difference for some young creatives as well.

If you want to do something, then you have to do it when you intend to because if you don’t… it likely won’t get done. That’s why I’m not quitting NaNoWriMo–I need to finish my novel. That’s on my bucket list. Then I’m tackling other things on that list, like moving to London as soon as my car lease is up.

Life is short. Live by passion. Live by service. Live by what you believe. Love with all you have. And don’t give up on anything you care about. 

Here’s to not giving up & giving back when and where you can. 

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10 Comments so far
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I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. I thought I saw something on facebook but I didn’t want to pry. :( BIG HUGS to you and your family.

Also, I am REALLY proud of you for sticking with NaNoWriMo. I tried (“tried”) last year and lasted about two days, during which I wrote approximately 200 words. FAIL. But you are kicking ass and taking names and I hope you finish your novel and then publish it somewhere so I can read it. I also expect a signed copy.

Comment by Kelly L

It’s okay. It was kind of all over FB so you’re fine. Thank you though; you’re a sweetie.

Comment by Mikael

Do not give up whether you make it to 50k or not you are still a winner just by seeing through. So sorry for your loss, it is never easy.

Comment by Mark

I’m an over-achiever; I’m not a winner until I do it. ;) But thank you!

Comment by Mikael

I am so sorry to hear about your sister. Sending big hugs and love your way. xo

Comment by Caryn

Thanks Caryn. xoxo

Comment by Mikael

Hugs, lady. I just want you to know that you’ve been in my thoughts a lot lately and that I’m sending so much love your way.

Comment by terra

Aw thank you Terra. I cannot wait to bear hug you, you have no idea.

Comment by Mikael

[…] Giving back but not giving up […]

Pingback by Finding my stage! « .:. MikShorty .:.

Wow..I totally missed this. Sorry for your loss. :(

Comment by TJ




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