November’s NaNoWriMo and a Thankfulness Challenge

Last Wednesday, I did something crazy that I’m hoping I won’t end up regretting (I don’t think I will): I signed up for NaNoWriMo this month. (NaNo, as in National Novel Writing Month, or the crazy challenge writers take to write 50,000 words in 30 days.) I’ve participated other years—and even managed to get to 50k in 2013!—but since then, I’ve gained a lot of other responsibilities, so this is proving to be an even bigger challenge than it was back then.

But it’s been so, so fun as well. It’s thrilling to watch a story develop under your fingertips; to “live” in another place and try to put all five senses that you’re discovering there in word form so that someone else can experience it as well.

November's NaNoWriMo and a Thankfulness Challenge 01

Pre-food near-starvation mode

As an aside: One thing I’ve discovered about myself (to my surprise!) is that I tend to write a lot more clearly than I speak. That’s become a continual annoyance to me, because words flow so well through my fingertips, but not necessarily through my lips. But that’s okay. It’s always good to have at least one thing to hone in life, right?

Back in 2013, and again in 2014 and 2015, I believe, I participated in another month-long challenge in November: GiveThanks x7. It was hosted by a girl’s magazine, The King’s Blooming Rose, with the goal being to write down seven things I’m grateful for every day of the month of November. It proved to be a lovely time of creating a habit of thankfulness, a frame of mind I’d love to be in constantly.

This year, although the magazine isn’t hosting the challenge, they do encourage us to do it ourselves. So I thought I’d share my “thankful” lists from the last three days.

November's NaNoWriMo and a Thankfulness Challenge 02

Post-food relaxation mode (at this point, I’m thinking there are probably some interesting and useful parallels between sheep and humans, as the Bible often points out).

November 1:

  1. Haunt Fox by Jim Kjielgaard—a fascinating nature book!
  2. Peacocks—they’re so pretty!
  3. Beautiful mornings
  4. November
  5. A new dresser for my little sister
  6. NaNoWriMo
  7. Work away from home!

November 2:

  1. Summery days
  2. Motel-quality sheets (what luxury!)
  3. Stories to write
  4. Roses
  5. Bible memory verses
  6. Pitcher plants—fascinating things, especially when wasps get stuck in them!
  7. Dear friends who are willing to help when it’s difficult to get something done ourselves (oh, that I might be a friend like that to other people!)

November 3:

  1. The quails I heard early this morning
  2. Brothers that I can delight with stories
  3. My happy little sister
  4. God’s faithfulness
  5. The color of fresh spring green
  6. Taking walks with my little sister
  7. Her delight in nature

Have you ever written fictional stories and/or participated in a writing challenge? What are some things you are thankful for today?

2 thoughts on “November’s NaNoWriMo and a Thankfulness Challenge

  1. I have participated in the thanksgiving challenge and I’m so glad you mentioned it! I almost forgot about it! So yes, I will be doing it again this year. 🙂

    What is your story about that you’re writing for camp Nano? I have always wanted to do it, and this year I might try, even though it’s already a couple days into it. I always have trouble thinking of a storyline/plot. Or, I can think of one but can’t figure out what to say about it for a couple hundred pages. Any advice on that?

    Love
    Ashley
    ashleysyarnworks.etsy.com

    1. Yay! Will you be sharing it on your blog? I’ll have to check later on. 🙂

      Currently, I’m writing an outer space story featuring my three youngest siblings. One of my youngest brothers made some offhand comment about “don’t take a two-year-old to Mars!” one evening, and that sparked an idea, and I’ve kind-of run with it. It’s been pretty fun. I’ve read each day’s writings to them as I write (or else stop near the end at a “good” [read: intense] place).

      If you do decide to do NaNo this year, I’d recommend starting as soon as possible. For me, anyway, due to the intensity of the challenge, I find it incredibly hard to catch up on my wordcount once I’ve gotten behind.

      I can relate to the plotting problems! The first year, I dived in without much if any preparation, and after running out of other things to write, I wrote a whole lot of worthless backstory–10 or 15,000 words that I ended up pretty much deleting. I won, but it wasn’t a very satisfying win. And I’m afraid I wouldn’t have many tips for how to get a story going. I’m still figuring things like that out myself! Good luck, though! And if you decide to do NaNoWriMo, and want to add me as a writing buddy, you can find me here: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/esther-filbrun

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