November Photo Heart Connection


A set of bookshelves line the wall in the room where I have my computer.  It holds books, some of my art work, old ball canning jars, a jar of marbles, a stuffed frog that my son gave me long ago, and many other interesting artifacts from my life.  Among them is an old coffee can, pictured here, that used to contain “Manhattan” coffee.  

How it came into my possession is a mystery. It did hold some parts to a game for a long time, but we never played the game anymore.  I enjoy old tins and this coffee can just had to come to the bookshelf in my creative space.

However, that old coffee can is not what tugged at my heart when I found this photo among all of those I took in November.  I almost deleted this image earlier on, but something made me keep it.

It’s those burnt out matches in that glass lid…because they remind me of something I accomplished.  In November I participated in National Novel Writing Month, and wrote more that 50,000 words for my very first rough draft (emphasis on the word rough) for a novel.  

In order to do that I set aside time each day last month, all except for one, and took the time to quiet down and write.  I’d light a sandalwood scented candle to help set a mood…hence all these burned out matches. It just seemed right to have that little flame burning brightly while typing away.

The ‘reward’ of all this writing was realizing the benefit of daily practice.  Doesn’t matter what becomes of my novel.  It was the purposeful, regular, intentional writing…the discipline.

Daily practice.  Marking space for what you really want to accomplish on a regular basis.

Those are the words that stay with me now, inviting me to stick with it, keep trying, keep on learning.  No matter if it is with my camera or with a pen.  

Linking up today with Kat Sloma’s Photo Heart Connection.

19 Replies to “November Photo Heart Connection”

  1. Aren't you glad you didn't delete this image! What a wonderful reminder of your time spent writing! You have my admiration for such a tough challenge and my congrats that you completed it!! I'm sure writing has now become an every day part of your life!!

    1. Cathy,
      I have to admit that I have taken a break from the regular writing for a couple days, and actually checked out a book from the library so I could just enjoy some reading! Soon I'll be revisiting that rough draft, and writing will be part of the day again. Thanks for your kind words!

  2. As I read through your words, I could smell the perfume of the sandalwood scented candle. That must be a lovely feeling of accomplishment on writing a rough draft for a novel. What a great discipline to have to take the time each day to sit down and write!
    The words: "making space for what you really want to accomplish on a regular basis" is the gift you take with you!

    1. Thank you, Sandra!
      When I think of 'making space…' I can visualize just sweeping everything off the table with one quick swipe, and letting everything else fall to the floor. Sometimes that is just how it works for me. Letting other stuff wait while I concentrate on one thing. Yes, it is the gift I have taken from that exercise.

  3. What a meaningful image – full of emotion and celebration and symbolism. I am doing the happy dance for you and your amazing accomplishment – you have every right to celebrate. And your idea of "making space" for that which you want to accomplish – making it an intentional, daily practice – is wisdom born of doing.

  4. Whew, I am so relieved that you weren't writing and smoking! I couldn't imagine it, but that was what the matches brought to my mind when I first saw the image. Congrats on your accomplishment — daily practice takes so much discipline and brings so many rewards, doesn't it ?

  5. Hi Deborah,
    Congratulations on the writing 50,000 words this month! You are amazing!
    Coincidentally, I first heard about this challenge a few months back. A friend of mine was contemplating joining and she urged me to consider it too. I laughed it off but I've caught myself thinking about it. Maybe someday I will attempt it too though I have no idea what I will write about 🙂
    It's lovely to hear from someone who attempted the challenge. What a wonderful photo heart connection for this month!

  6. So funny I am sitting in front of my computer listening to music with a burning candle …. I too am setting time aside every day to write and I love it. It doesn't matter if anyone ever reads it it is for me…. Thank you for sharing your thoughts (visiting from photo~art connection)

  7. Wow. A novel. That is amazing and I'm so excited for you. But I'm just as excited for what you write about a daily practice. About hearing about your ritual to put you into a state of flow. It all helps, it works. These types of daily practices are the threads that bind our days together and help us weave a cohesive piece of them. Thank you so much for sharing this in the Photo-Heart Connection!

  8. Congratulations Deborah. What a great thing to do for yourself. Intention is a powerful thing. Manhattan coffee. Hmmmm. Likely would be snubbed in this age of having to have something exotic from Bolivia or something. I think it's cool that the matches are the token, the tally of your month. I hope you will continue to take that hour for yourself.
    I have been taking time to exercise-at the gym or for a brisk walk everyday. I am giving myself motion rather than the stagnancy that consumes so much of my time and stifles me. Sadly moving and motion take me away from blogging time, but at this point, I think it is the right thing for me.
    I love your post-if offers not ony insight for you, but also for me. How wonderful.

  9. Deb, this is the second Photo-Heart post I've read in a row dealing with a daily practice. Maybe the Universe it trying to tell me something. Congratulations on completing National Novel Writing Month! Whether your "rough" draft ever turns into a book or not, it is an accomplishment to be proud of. I'm glad you have this image to remind yourself of that.

  10. Such an amazing achievement, and a real lesson for us all in the benefits of daily practice. I love your image, simple and beautiful and I love the black and white – and that a seemingly ordinary pot of used matches evokes such a strong connection.

  11. I love your image, and the story that goes with it. Seeing the burnt out matches and understanding that they represent 50,000 words, and 30 days of writing practice. Wow. A striking image, with a powerful message. One day – one match stick at a time – amazing things can happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.