When I attended SPARK training at the Mental Health Commission of Canada, one of the ideas generated for SilverLiningFrog.com was to create a book about the 50 Feats experiment. I didn’t think much more about it until my older son introduced me to November’s National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo as it is affectionately called. The idea behind NaNoWriMo is to spend the month of November working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. There are groups all over the world that you can join for the month to engage in mutual encouragement, writing sessions, and friendly competition on your way to the 50,000 word count.
I decided to attend one of the Niagara meetings with my son to see if NaNoWriMo might be my inspiration for translating 50 Feats into a book. The group met at a local coffee shop: we were introduced to 8 others at this session and felt comfortable with the informal exchange of ideas and tips for writing in anticipation of November 1.
While I was, by far, the oldest one in the group, the other element that set me slightly apart was that my creative writing was non-fictional while the rest of the group were writing Sci-Fi novels. Nonetheless, I was inspired to think about writing from the perspective of a focused process. If there was a venue for novel writing, perhaps there was also a gathering for non-fiction writers. I did a little research and discovered National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), a contest that parallels NaNoWriMo in its challenge to non-fiction writers to write 50,000 words in 30 days during November and, thereby, completing a book. I immediately signed up to participate. During November, http://www.writenonfictionnow.com promises 5 posts, each including tips from different experts on creativity, productivity, publishing, and writing; video interviews with professional writers; virtual writing days with associated Q&A times; and related coaching sessions. Unlike NaNoWriMo, the community is only online; there are no in-person meet-ups for writing and encouragement.
I am a bit of a “cheater” when it comes to writing 50,000 words since much of the writing has already been completed through the 50 Feats blog posts. However, having incentive to transform the blogs into a comprehensive product focused around the various pillars of positive psychology that I had previously identified for 50 Feats: The Workshop within a set time frame has enormous appeal, especially as I will be engaging in my writing marathon along with a world of kindred spirits. I can almost feel the energy coming through the wifi to buoy my efforts.
My son has continued to attend the group sessions leading up to NaNoWriMo and excitedly awaits the November 1st start. Today he told me that the members of his group invited me to attend any of their writing days despite my genre of non-fiction; to them, it is all about the writing and the joy associated with producing your own creation, from a blank page to a book of adventure. We all have that essence and resolve in common.
And so, as I begin to craft my book, the countdown now begins for the 50th Fabulous Feat. What will it be? Stay tuned to find out!