It’s NaNoWrimo, which for the uninitiated stands for National Novel Writing Month. For many authors or just those who aspire to writing a novel, it’s a month of stress: an attempt to write 50,000 words in a single month.

For me, that’s usually not a really big deal. If you write every day, it really isn’t that hard. But this year, it is a month of renewed focus, and renewed pain.

“Pain?” you ask. “Troy, we see you writing all the time. Why pain?”

There’s something you don’t know, something I tell, until this point, only a few people who know me well. It’s a quick story, and I need to get back to NaNo myself, so here you go:

SAM_3769If you look at my right hand, you will see a scar across my thumb. It’s from a motorcycle accident I had in 2000. On October 13th, to be exact. A lady turned left in front of me, and I hit the side of a Toyota at 45 mph. $25K later, this thumb is what I’m left with. you could say I’m handicapped, intend the pun, and not be offensive at all.

I deal with pain from it on a daily basis, although not too intense. I have about 90% use and mobility, and really that’s pretty good. It could have been much, much worse. I could have been doomed to perpetually haunt someone with my stories. Instead, I get to write them myself.

My hand does get more painful around certain times of year. Changing temperatures and humidity have a profound effect on the amount of pain I experience. Which happens right around the end of October, first part of November here in Idaho, where I live. This year, I got a new keyboard and mouse, more ergonomic. They help, but the pain is still there.

“Do it this year. If you don’t, you’ll be one year older when you do.”

-Warren Miller

Instead of letting it slow me down, I push through. I use it as a reminder: we are never SAM_3770guaranteed tomorrow. And everyone has obstacles that try to prevent them from doing what they love.

I’m an author. It took me a long time to get here. I had bumps along the way, the above motorcycle accident and my own fear only two of them. So I won’t ever go back. If I found I had six months to live, I would do one thing, no questions asked. I’d write. Until I couldn’t any more. So whether you are a fellow author, and November is your month to develop that writing habit, and set yourself on a new course, or you have another passion, don’t quit. Follow your dream.

As Warren Miller, the great ski film maker says, “Do it this year. If you don’t, you’ll just be one year older when you do.”

Happy writing. Or whatever you choose to do.