As you know, this is my second writing challenge (did NaNoWriMo last year). I’ve always known about NaNoWriMo but never questioned why November became the designated writing a novel month. It wasn’t only onto the 4th day of my NaNoFiWriMo challenge where I began to question it. Then I became even more curious after reading a Google+ comment, of a writer declaring how they don’t take part because of the holiday season.
So why November? Especially, when it’s the first month of the busiest holiday season? What makes that particular month receive so much hoopla? Can it be that it’s backed up by the Office of Letters and Light? Or is it that November signals the end of the year, ushering in a greater urgency to pen our stories before the new year begins? Or is November the writing event month known throughout the universe that affirms that we, as writers, are not alone?
In actuality, NaNoWriMo first began in July 1999 by freelance writer Chris Baty. It took place in the San Francisco Bay area with 20 other writing friends. In 2000 a friend created a website for NaNoWriMo and the writing challenge was moved to November “to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather.” 140 participants had signed up take part that year. By 2001, it jumped to 5,000 participants and the rest is history.
Well, I’m not too sure I agree with “the miserable weather” thing. Maybe bad weather equates to curling up to write a good book. But then what about Thanksgiving? It’s not just a national holiday you know. It’s a day that uses one to two weeks of preparation to celebrate it. And I might be delusional, but I’m pretty sure if I didn’t have to deal with Thanksgiving, I might’ve reached a word count goal shy of 10,000 words instead of 20,000. At least there are other writing/creative events you can take part in. November is not the only month for writing challenges (just recently learned this). There are writing and artistic challenges year round, year long and for specific months. Basically, you don’t have to wait for November every year.
Thanks to Wikiwrimo.org, I created a calendar of those creative events held throughout the year. So if you feel the busy holiday season of November/December are distractors to your writing, how about looking at events for the other ten months? Or you can create your own personal writing challenge, whose word count goal, purpose, etc for which you will uphold and be accountable for.
How are you faring in the 2014 WriMo’s? Do you feel like giving up? Why? And have you come up with a contingency plan to keep up with your word count goal during Thanksgiving?
PS Check out the Writing Challenge Calender- 12 Months of Creative Motivation I created on Canva.com