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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Writing Letters of Thanks

Photo by chappy14

Like many of you, I want to be a published novelist. November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise affectionately known as NaNoWriMo. Skimming the website’s history doesn’t reveal exactly why this month was chosen. Whoever heard of expecting anyone to write a complete, 50,000-word novel during November? Don’t they know how busy people are? Of course, it’s hard to say, in the twenty-first century, when we’d ever slow down with nothing left to do with our time except write a novel. None of the other months during the year seem to be lazy and carefree, either.

But November is also the time when our hearts turn to thanking those people we are grateful for every month of the year.

When my husband was alive, I’d periodically remind him about the “just-in-case” letters to our children (and one to my husband) that were stashed in my sock drawer. Every few years, I update the letters, mentioning current interests or skills and spiritual gifts I’d see in their lives. I hope to encourage them and remind them of my love if there is ever a time when I’m not here to do that.

One trying school day, a math teacher, Franciscan Nun Sister Helen Mrosla, departed from the curriculum and asked students to list the nicest thing they could think about each classmate. She compiled the comments and gave a personal list to each student. Years later, after one of the students, Mark Eklund, died in Vietnam, the list was found, taped and re-taped, in his wallet. At the funeral, many of the other students also revealed they’d saved the list as one of their prized possessions. The inspirational tale of Sister Helen Mrosla, “the teacher who made a difference,” has been widely circulated all over the internet and featured in numerous books, like Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read about it here.

Instead of worrying about reaching a self-imposed NaNo word count, I propose taking time to write a letter to at least one special person in your life telling how much he or she means to you. Who knows? Maybe your letter will be more meaningful to someone, more used by God, than the words in any novel you ever write.

Roxanne Sherwood
http://thewritingroad.blogspot.com/

Taking time to be thankful: There are so many people who love and encourage me: seven wonderful children; a mother; siblings & their spouses; precious friends like the Ponderers; and a new man in my life. I love, appreciate and thank God for each of you!

Second photo by lusi


Christmas Writing Contest!
Janice Thompson, along with www.freelancewritingcourses.com would like to announce a Christmas Writing Contest! For more information, click here: http://www.freelancewritingcourses.com/christmas-writing-contest

9 comments:

Scoti Domeij, Director, Springs Writers said...

Roxanne, What a touching story about the teacher. And I love your suggestion. Happy Thanksgiving!

Roxanne Sherwood said...

Thanks so much. Hope your holidays are wonderful!

S said...

So many of us want to be published novelists. The idead of the math teacher was excellent. Will use it!

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