Dear NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo, Can There Be Such a Thing as NaNoWriDisMo and NaBloPoDisMo?

Dear NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo,I just learned from a BlogHer email that NaBloPoMo begins January 1, 2014 and the race is on for numerous people to participate in the upcoming NaBloPoMo event.

I thought, how fitting the timing since I was in the process of blogging about a small change I would like to see with NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo for those disabled but would like to be a part of this glorious event in the near future. As well as those who may have some difficulty participating given the requirements and writing challenges.

I am a person who has a compassion for all no matter what one suffers with. Granted it was not until after I became diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome after suffering with hand and elbow conditions, Fibromyalgia, and other conditions that I developed a greater compassion for those in pain and those who have become disabled as a result of their diagnosis. I empathize with ones who are limited in their capacity to function as they were accustomed to and know what it is like to face challenges or obstacles when desiring to be a part of the norm.

When I first began my blog, I didn’t realize the amount of time, effort, physical strength, and writing that would be required to maintain the blog. While I welcomed comments, sometimes it would take days, weeks, or longer periods for my response because of limitations with my hands but I no doubt would respond as time permitted. My writing also averaged minimally compared to other bloggers because of days that prevented me from posting due to excessively flared symptoms that kept me bed-ridden. But all I knew when my children introduced me to blogging and agreed to help me to encourage me and take me out of my comfort zone, I wanted nothing more than to connect with others and do something different even though my body was saying no.

As such, when I first heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I did not have any idea what was the world of NaNoWriting. As November approached, mid-way through my joining social media over a year ago, a friend of mine named Sezoni Whitfield, whom I met on social media who support writers in their projects and conduct writer interviews via WritersKaboodle on Twitter introduced me to the idea and asked if I were interested in participating.

I told her I had never heard of it, and given my limitations with my hands and elbows along with the pain and challenges I faced daily with what I considered severe symptoms of Fibromyalgia coupled with chronic pain, there was no way on earth I could ever begin to write every day to complete 50,000 words in one month. Even though I have managed to write a memoir that took me years to compile and is in its final stage awaiting final editing review, it in no way can compare to having to post every day and meet the 50,000 word challenge.

But then I had an afterthought and in response to that challenge, I decided to take a look at my blog posts and do a word count from November last month as well as posts from November 2012 and this is what my family and I came up with. In 11/2013 approximately 29,150 words were written and in 11/2012 approximately 38,843 words were written not towards a novel but just my thoughts on my blog.

Now, if I were to go and count I’m sure the words I wrote in my memoir would exceed 50,000 yet it was not done in a month as would be required if I chose to participate with NaNoWriMo in November. Therefore, prompting my idea for change.

I joined BlogHer a short time later in November and saw National Blog Posting Month (NaBlogPoMo). I decided to further research and after gaining insight I had a strong desire to participate but knew I couldn’t meet the challenge. A year went by with not much changing with my physical limitations but I was still interested in the possibility of participating. It was not until last month when I received an email from BlogHer noting the end of NaBloPoMo that again I wished I could have been a part of it. Sadly I couldn’t because the challenge was too great.

So I started thinking, what if NaNo (Writing Month) was to include a writing challenge in November for people with disabilities and gave them similar requirements that included 30 days with a lower word count of approximately 39,000 – 40,000 words. With the hope of writing something that doesn’t necessarily need to be a novel but can be smaller like an inspirational journal for publishing (NaNoWriMo). Additionally, the same requirement would apply for NaBlo (Posting Month) with the exception of creating inspirational blog posts for thirty days instead of writings towards a novel. And each entity called it National Novel Writing Disability Month (NaNoWriDisMo) or National Blog Post Disability Month (NaBloPoDisMo).

Granted, I know there will be a lot of variables to consider when making such a change and given the fact some people do not wish to be placed in a certain category, for me I feel those with disabilities would welcome the idea who face challenges but desire to be included. And it possibly may motivate and inspire them to meet the challenge along with others who participate in this worldwide event.

I am not one to view things in a light that would place labels on others nor do I wish it to be viewed this way but my hope is for others to see it as inclusiveness that would give equal accessibility to those we don’t know who may feel inadequate or incapable of participating and choose not to because of a disability, but desire to do so. I believe it would be exhilarating, freeing, empowering, and amazing!

Whew….now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I feel better. And remember, these are just my thoughts. Thanks for listening. Be blessed! -JD

Signed,

Me
Future
NaNoWriDisMo and
NaBloPoDisMo member

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