Saturday, January 18, 2014

My 500 Words: Day 18 - The Challenge in The Challenge

Today is Day 18 of the My 500 Words writing challenge which began on January 1st.  The writing challenge calls for participants to write a minimum of 500 words each day this month.  It doesn't have to be pretty, but you have to write.  We are a little over the halfway point and I haven't missed a day yet!  You can find all of my posts HERE.

I keep reflecting on this challenge, asking myself why I chose to participate.  The answer is quite simply that I needed to get back into the daily habit of writing.  All of the events of my own life left me with little energy to write anything of substance for this blog.  I was writing maybe one post a week, sometimes two. I had been writing five to seven times a week prior to this slump.  I have good reasons for being in the slump.  Since May of 2013, I have lost my 6 year old daughter, had sun poisoning, had a severely sprained ankle, had a massive pulmonary embolism, found out the sprain was actually a torn peroneal tendon, and had surgery to repair the tendon and ligaments in my right ankle.  It's been quite the journey these past eight months since losing Peyton.  It has left me worn out, but part of my desire to RENEW means to get back into regular habits, restoring my desire to do things that make me happy, and so on.  I found out about this challenge on January 1st - the day it began.  I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to jump back in.

I have written consistently for 18 days straight now.  I have managed an average of over 700 words per day, putting me ahead of the "required" minimum.  There's no reward for completing the challenge successfully, nor is there punishment for failing miserably.  It is a challenge which I took on for personal reasons.  I have pushed myself to write each and every day.  There have been days where it has truly been a struggle to come up with a topic for the day.  Other days haven't been a difficult.  Regardless of how easy the topic came to me, I have written.

I am proud of myself for getting to this point in the challenge without having missed a day.  It has been a very long time since I have written this consistently.  My regret is that I haven't always been able to come up with the greatest of posts {to me, anyway}.  I'm working on it.  Bear with me!  I am proud of myself for getting back into this writing habit.

As I work out the writing habit, I have been pondering the direction I want to take with this blog.  I write about many things.  Most of what I share is faith-based.  I know with certainty that the majority of my writing needs to focus on my faith.  It's this "in between" phase I am in that has me wondering what to do.  I wrote much about my faith journey with regard to caring for a very sick child who ultimately went on to be with our Father.  That was huge.  Peyton's story inspired much of what I wrote.  I want to find a way to continue to share her story in such a way that it will leave a mark.  Does it need to inspire millions?  That would be amazing, but it is not necessary.  Would I like for a life to be changed as a result of her story?  Yes.  I need to spend time in prayer over how best to take her story and continue to share it so that others may be encouraged.  She has a story worth sharing.  She has changed people's lives already.  I just happen to believe that her story is far from over, though she is not with us anymore.

I believe that the first couple weeks of this writing challenge has given me back my desire to write and it has gotten me back into a good writing habit.  It is my desire that I can figure out how best to use this platform to share an incredible story with you and hopefully give encouragement and comfort to those who may be in need of it.  That is my next challenge!

{if you're counting - that was 720 words for my eighteenth My 500 Words post, for a total of 13,898 this month!}
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