N is for NaNoWriMo
For those not in the know NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a yearly challenge that takes place every November to write 50K words in those thirty days. I’ve done it several times since 2004. I’ve won a few times but I’m lost many more. Only not really because every word written is a win if you think about it.
NaNo has been great for me because it got me writing properly. My first ever long piece of writing was a NaNo project, specifically a very bad Harry Potter fanfiction which before anyone asks was never posted in it’s entireity online. I think I’d like to read it again but it’s probably better I don’t.
It’s also been great because I’ve made friends. Some I just see in the group and the meet ups and several I’ve lost touch with over the years beyond sporadic tweets etc. But I’ve got a couple of very good friends I met through NaNo – ones I’ve been to the paralympics with, and up the shard, for drinks and chat, theatre trips and breakfast in Giraffe (yesterday) and even to one of their weddings and that’s a whole lot of impact on my life and positivity that’s not to be scoffed at.
In many ways I’ve lost my love for NaNo now. The year I acted as Municipal Liaison played a big role in that but I think it’s partially to do with maturing as a writer too. I’ll still think of it every year and probably give it some form of a go. I hear a lot about how it’s a bad thing and how NaNo ruins writing. My suspicion is that some of those are valid points. But I’ll always have a soft spot for it and think it’s a great thing. Because for me it’s about more than the writing