Tuesday, October 20, 2009

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Nanoing with MS

I NaNo, you NaNo, we all NaNo. Okay, so NaNo is not exactly a verb, in reality it is an acronym for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short), but it should be. Once a year for the past ten years, people across the world come together to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I am also one of those crazy individuals who enjoy the madness that is novel writing, but this year there is a snag in the game - my MS is relapsing, which means it is rearing its ugly head. So, how do I plan to cross the finish line? With a cane in my hand and 50,000 words saved on a flash drive.

Having a disability, such as MS, should not stop you from achieving a goal; it just takes a little planning and forethought. This year, the plan includes:

1. Making sure that my desk and chair is arranged to have maximum comfort so hours behind the keyboard (still working on a good layout) are not quite so hard.

2. Get as much plotting done as possible. Trying to remember is hard at times (cognitive function), so if I have a direction to go, things should click into place or at least remind me where I got lost.

3. Notebooks for writing down ideas as they come as well as those ideas that I want to include in the novel. Again, cognitive function is slowly losing grip with reality (For those who know me - no jokes LOL - we know them all already [ha-ha]).

4. Comfortable pens. I know it sounds strange, but having a pen that is too thin or too thick, hurts while writing. I have different pens of varying thickness to coincide with my gripping capability.

5. My medication in the daily box. A pillbox that holds what I am to take is a constant reminder of my medication. In addition, I am making sure that there is enough headache medication to help battle my constant headaches. This holds true for general pain medication.

6. Comfy bed and “Writer” my teddy bear. The bed so I can rest and the teddy bear (who have been with me for several years) to listen to my writing woes.

Well, I think I am ready (even have the munchies and caffeine set up). The best advice from one crazy disabled NaNo writer to another is listen to your body seriously. Health is more important that 50,000 words. See you at the finish line - I will be the one with the bronze dragon head cane holding a first novel draft in my hand. Together we will celebrate with some sort of beverage - your choice.