I just signed up for NaNoWriMo. I’d never heard of it, but was having a discussion with a coworker this morning about finding time for creative pursuits, and he recommended that I check it out. I started this month not knowing if I’d be able to finish, but we’re almost 3 weeks in and I’m still going strong. Anyone who has known me for any length of time can tell you that I struggle with follow-through– not from a lack of desire, but rather because of a lack of focus.

The plan was to write at least one post per day for the month. The original idea came to me when I was trying to think of a way to build a habit of creating something each and every day. I enjoy writing, and figured this would be a great way to ease myself into a daily routine of creativity. While there have been a few days where I struggled with finding a topic, for the most part I have just been writing about things that are personal passions of mine.

From the standpoint of sheer output, I think this has probably been the most creative month of my life. Despite not having an overarching or unifying theme, I am fairly certain I’ve never written this much in such a short span of time. It seems that the next logical step would be to try to write at least this much, but make an attempt to create a cohesive work with those words. That’s what I’ll be doing during the month of November.

I’m inspired by the support I’ve gotten over the course of this month. Seeing that people have been reading my posts, interacting with readers in the comments, and getting private messages or emails from several of you has really pushed me to keep going. I’m aware that I’m not the best writer, I know that I have a lot to learn and room to grow, but just putting pen to page (or fingers to keys) has made me much more comfortable with this process, and has bolstered my self-confidence several times over. It’s also given me the drive to start pursuing other creative avenues again, such as music, which is great. I’ll be posting more on that within the next few days.

The novel that I’ll be writing will take place in the near-ish future, maybe 30-40 years from our time, but the world will look drastically different than it does now. If you can imagine how far we’ve come, both technologically and socially, in the last 40 years, and assume that our technology continues to progress at a near-exponential rate, you can imagine that our society may be very different in just a few short decades. Most of us will probably deal with that growth reasonably well, but those that are resistant to change may feel left behind and shunned by society as a whole. Many organizations that are viewed as pillars of morality and society may begin to crumble, and I believe that their reactions to this would be similar to a wild animal that’s cornered, lashing out in an attempt to delay its inevitable demise.

In short, I’d like to say thanks again to those of you who have been supportive of this project, because I most likely would not be doing NaNoWriMo had I not already started this month long challenge. Three weeks ago, I probably would not have felt very confident in my ability to output 500-1,000 words per day; now I know for a fact that I can do it, and knowing is half the battle.

This has been Day 19 of my blog-a-day goal for the month of October. I hope to write 500 words or more per day, or ~15,000 for the month, to get myself in the habit of writing every day. How do you keep yourself motivated for creative pursuits? It’s definitely something I find difficult.

2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo

    1. Dan Marshall Post author

      Thank you, my friend! I feel like I’ve seen the name, but never knew what it was. It does ring a very vague bell. You can bet that I’ll be bothering you for some editing, most likely in December.


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