NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge to get writers writing. It is a collective commitment among writers to get that novel done. There are other writing challenges out there, and I’ve recently become a fan of setting such huge goals and pushing yourself to achieve them.
NaNoWriMo…what is it? Well, for new writers and non-writers, I will tell you what I know. It stands for “National Novel Writing Month”. The goal is to start and complete at least a 50,000 word novel between November 1st and November 30th. Get that novel out of you and onto paper (or electronic) form. You can find more information, sign up, and even look at merchandise (why not?) here.
10K day write-a-thon. This is a challenge that I just took on (and completed – yay!). Basically in a 24 hour period, you will write 10,000 words. This can be quite intense. There are some great resources to give you advice about prep work for your 10K day and some thoughts about as your write (don’t edit, don’t worry about structure, formatting, grammar, etc….just get those words out). You can find that info here.
Writing Prompts. This is another form of writing challenge. There are a variety of places where you can find writing prompts (just google “writing prompts” or “writing challenges”). This is basically a thought, statement, idea, etc that gives you something to write about. These are great to get the creative juices flowing. Especially if you are feeling blocked. The critique group I’m a part of does a writing prompt as part of our meeting each week. It can be challenging sometimes, but always creatively stimulating.
Why take on a challenge like these? On the face of it, it simply gets you writing. And that helps, again, get that idea, that spark, that story out of you and into a form that can be molded and worked with and (hopefully) published for others to enjoy. The 10K challenge definitely took me from a stagnant place where I had been having trouble finding time to write and had become complacent with my work in progress. Pouring that much time and effort into it reminded me why I had the idea in the first place. I remembered my passion for the story. And why I need to write it. Now I make it more of a priority. And I can’t wait to sit down and see it grow and develop.
So, I encourage you, if you are in any way creatively inclined toward writing, or painting, or crafting…take a day for yourself (like the 10K day forces you to for writing) and just pour yourself into your craft. It is a very rewarding experience!