#NaNoWriMo. Validated. Won.

Nov 28

I am so excited. The National Novel Writing Month from November 1 to 30 is coming to a close. But taking Terri’s lead, I decided to validate my book even though it is not complete, because I more than achieved the mandatory word count of 50,000. I validated at 104,058 words. My first NaNoWriMo is a dream come true.Of course, I have miles to go before I sleep, in terms of editing, referencing information and what not. It will be a few months before my non-fiction book, “The Complete Health Guide For Women” will appear in print or in its digital version. But here’s my Winner’s Certificate to gloat on:
VidyaSuryNaNoWriMoCert

Rather neat, eh? It is dated December 1, 2011 because that’s when they expect us to reach the finish line. Except that I beat myself to it.

Why non-fiction?

Although I like to have a go at fiction once in a while, I am passionate about seeing my first book as a reference book that people can go back to, frequently, as a trust-worthy source of information. The inspiration for this was my own experience combined with what I saw. This is why I started writing my health blog “Your Medical Guide” which am building as a resource for better mental, physical and emotional health and fitness. On this blog, I share Health news. Health tips. Information about diseases, symptoms,treatments, drugs and medicine.

There are wonderful doctors and specialists, but it is not always easy to make an appointment and talk to them about how you feel. Most of the time, doctors have to rely on what the patient tells them, if indeed they do listen, and if the patient is articulate. Thorough clinical examinations are not always popular because of overflowing clinics and time constraints.

I can’t keep track of the number of times we’ve gone to a doctor, waited for a couple of hours to see him and then realized our minds had gone blank by the time our turn came. Often, I have also suspected that we developed most of our ailments in that very waiting room. And let me not even get started on the fortune we’ve spent that we could ill-afford.

What started as a lung fibrosis (cause unknown) for my Mom led to various other health problems as a result of the strong medication she had to take to keep her lungs functioning well and survive. I’ve lost count of the number of doctors and specialists we’ve seen, the hospitals and clinics we’ve visited and the hours we have wasted sometimes, just because we were not well-informed. Sometimes I can’t help thinking my Mom would have lived longer, if only the doctors had managed her symptoms, pain and medication better. Sigh!

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is Power. I’ll tell you why. Let’s take a simple example. Your visited your doctor and you now have a prescription for a couple of blood tests. In the hope that there will be a quick diagnosis, you arrive at the lab, only to be told that you can’t have the tests done today because they must be done on a fasting stomach. Which means you must plan it the day before, because “fasting” tests mean no food for at least 10 hours before you have the tests done, or it will screw up the results. So  you wish the doc or the lab had told you, right? Then maybe you could have planned better.

Know what I mean? I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way. Thing is, although I appreciate the service that hospitals, labs and doctors provide, they tend to assume that you know a lot of things. Now, why on earth would it have to be that way?

I’ve gone crazy getting info beforehand each time we had a doctor’s appointment scheduled simply to know what questions to ask.  When my Mom was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis in 2007, the doctor did not give us any advice about how to take care of her, her diet, medication, etc. Thanks to the Internet and being an information junkie, I did learn a lot. But then, we all know how hazardous information overload can be.

I could go on and on – but suffice it to say that my experiences with life and as a caregiver, exposure to many health conditions both at home and in friends’ families inspired me to write a health guide.

Why women? Good question. As women, we go through all sorts of things and have earned the reputation of ignoring ourselves, our health (and our souls) after we start families. And then wonder where the years went. We pray that we’ll get well when we’re sick, just so we can continue to do the things we do on a daily basis. I know people who will try all sorts of home remedies for a yeast infection and make it worse. I’ve been one of them. I know women who’re going through menopause and have no idea what the heck’s happening. In one word, women worry. There’s no doubt we’re smart, but when it comes to self-care….well…enough said.

My book, The Complete Health Guide for Women hopes to be women’s best friend, in a conversational and informal tone. It will contain tips and information about various health conditions, what to expect, natural ways to handle them, guidance on when to see the doctor, when not to panic, the first line of action to take, and so on. Naturally I will add snippets of home remedies that work, mostly from the kitchen shelf.

I am also compiling a “Tips” type of short book that I hope will be amazingly useful. It will be along the lines of  “50 uses for lemons”, “50 uses for vinegar” – that sort of thing. As I discover something each day and enjoy those “a-ha” moments, I find that I want to put it all together and share it with everyone. I have lots of other topics in mind, that I plan to work on. My head is brimming with ideas.

So, as we come closer to November 30, I am filled with a warm feeling of happiness and am grateful for the encouragement, motivation and inspiration I received on a daily basis from my real and virtual friends. I am grateful to the NaNoWriMo for igniting the fire in me. I am particularly thankful to my dear friends who are kind enough to read what I write and appreciate it, giving me the impetus to go on. I am also indebted to my son, Vidur and husband Sury who believe in me and are convinced I can do anything. I am blessed to work with people who have unshakeable faith in me and keep telling me I am the best. (Tears).

I know everyone faces “low” days and “high” days – but I have to say that November has been a constant state of “high” for me, thanks to all the great people I have had the privilege of connecting with, but especially these fabulous ladies; without them, my November would not be what it is.

Terri – NaNo Winner and my buddy
Unknown Mami
Kim – My Inner Chick
Rachel – @ Totally Ovar It!
Betsy – The Zen Mama
Sheila – ZenSational Living
Angela – Powered By Intuition

And oh, by the way, I’ve nominated Betsy, Angela and Sheila for the “Top Personal Development Blogs of 2011” – so, I request you to please, please go vote for them. They’re fabulous people and I am so lucky I know them.

And if you’re still with me at this point, reading this post, one big hug to you! Thanks!

Vidya Sury

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24 comments

  1. I think The Complete Health Guide for Women sounds like a fabulous resource, and I’m glad NaNoWriMo left you feeling so inspired. Congratulations!

  2. :-) Thanks, Emily. I feel the buzz!

  3. Terri Sonoda /

    Fabulous post, Vidya. And congrats on the NaNo Win and at over 100 K Words! Wow. I am excited to read “The Complete Health Guide for Women”. We women can use all the health help we can get, that’s for sure! ‘Knowledge is Power’ is so very true. These days, just walking into the doctor’s office or the ER, you have to be your own advocate. You have to know your meds, what tests you’ve had, and voice your concerns! So very important!
    Thank you for mentioning me, my friend. We are indeed, buddies!

  4. Given the nature of your writings and the knowledge you are spreading , deserves to be appreciated. My hearty congrats to you and all the good wishes.

  5. Very much appreciate your comment, Mr Ayyangar. Thank you so much.

  6. Well thank you for your support, and congrats too! Yes, that thing with the blood tests and fasting… lol… oh, I’ve certainly learned that one the hard way myself. Now I just don’t eat for 10-12 hrs before going for a physical. Such a simple thing they COULD tell you and dont, lol.

  7. Sheila, yes. It is like a secret their ego won’t let them disclose. I’ve had some really sad times taking my Mom all the way only to realize it can’t be done. The travel alone used to freak her out. Then, of course, I made friends with the lab guy and got him to come home with the kits. :D

    Thank you, Sheila.

  8. Thanks Terri. The real work is about to begin :-) I’ve got nightmares about doctors and hospitals. Brrr! I am cussing myself for not heeding all the advice my Mom gave me, for free. My book is a tribute to her.

    On a happy note, I seem to be in love with your Fred.

  9. Congratulations! Writing 100,000+ words is no small feat.

  10. Thank you, Vishnu. It is a wonderful journey!

  11. You must be incredibly proud of yourself and, if not, you should be. Writing such an important piece of reference information for women is such an accomplishment. As a registered nurse for over 45 years – the last 21 of them in the field of forensics, working as a sexual assault nurse examiner doing adult rape and child sexual abuse cases, many of them with the indigent poor – but, also with middle income and educated women and men, I am always so amazed at how little people often know about how to take care of themselves. This kind of information is critical for people and women, as the caregivers in our society, especially need it.

    My warmest congratulations to you.

  12. Carmen, I am so very grateful for your words of encouragement. It makes me feel even better now about choosing this subject. I’ve had some folks sneer/snicker and lose interest because I wasn’t working on fiction.

    It is very kind of you to come by. Thanks so much. I feel really good.

  13. My Inner Chick /

    –Vidya,
    you. inspire. me.

    your generosity never ends. For Realz.

    So proud of your writing :)) btw, I shall buy your book immediately. Xxx kIss from America.

  14. Congratulations! Your book will be very helpful to many woman. How wonderful to affect the world in this way.

    I did not do very well this month with one book but did a little with three that I’m working on.
    Oh well!

    Thanks for your support as well! Again, I’m happy to have my Indian friend!!

  15. Congrats Vidya. I feel kind of proud too.. I am inline to buy that book.

  16. Betsy, Thanks for the kind words. I am even more motivated now to speed up the book. :-) I am thankful for the NaNoWriMo for the push and shove.

    Thanks for being my friend.

  17. You know, Kim, in my mind, you are part of my support group. Visiting your blog makes me happy – and happier!

    Thanks from the heart. Hugs & Kisses.

  18. Congratulations, Vidya! You DOUBLED the NaNoWriMo goal. I am impressed beyond words. Almost impressed enough to consider the challenge for next year. I feel lucky to have met you and I will be first in line to buy your book! HUGE ((((hugs))))!

  19. Thanks, Rachel – how sweet! I’d love for us all to write together next Nov. Right now I think I can do anything ;-). I am so happy we connected! HUGS.

  20. Hey Farida! Thanks. I am grateful to all of you for your lovely comments. I’d better make sure that book’s ready soon, eh?

    Hugs. And thanks for being my friend.

  21. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama /

    You ROCK mama!! I’m so excited for you, and I’ll be sending you lots of love and support as you finish your book.

    TY for the sweet well wishes on Ailia’s arrival! :)

  22. Thanks, Dionna. I was so thrilled when I read your blog post about Ailia’s arrival. Yes, I can feel the love all the way here. Hugs! Really appreciate your visit, when you must be so busy, you gorgeous Mama!

  23. Congratulations! Well done. I’m off to vote.

  24. Thank you, Unknown Mami. You’re one of the persons responsible for my “high” in Nov, you know.

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