Celebrate National Novel Writing Month With A 30-Day Writing Challenge

November is Nanowrimo — celebrate by putting pen to paper for 30 days straight.

Wait…what, exactly, is Nanowrimo? The pseudo-acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month (formerly the Office of Letters and Light), a non-profit dedicated to keeping the art of the novel alive and inspiring creativity’s spark. Sure, Nanowrimo officially kicked off on November 1st, challenging participants with the task of writing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, but that doesn’t mean taking part is completely out of the question, even if you can’t — or don’t want to — commit to writing an actual novel. I’m a firm believer in doing what you can for the sake of creativity. Whether you actually consider yourself creative or not, allowing yourself the space and time to explore what you’re capable of — what you’re able to create — expands your vision and stretches the mind. You might even surprise yourself. Nanowrimo is a sort of crash course in this practice, a little push to get your imagination flowing by putting pen to paper.

With the trees slowly being stripped of their autumnal leaves and quickly darkening days upon us, November is the perfect time to curl up and write. Looping handwriting, recording thoughts and actions on the page that sits before you, a steaming mug of tea by your side. A novel, a journal entry, a letter…we should all feel our stories are worth telling and worth sharing. Your written word can tell so much more than an Instagram image or tweet. So this month, I’m committing to 30 days of writing. It won’t be a novel. I doubt it will reach 50,000 words. But do something every day, for 30 days, and you’re bound to see development. Below I’ve created 30 writing prompts to spark the flame of creativity — some are abstract, some a bit more direct, however you choose to interpret them I hope you’ll join me in recording your thoughts, dreams and realities.

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  1. A dream
  2. Your reality
  3. Last night
  4. The fears within
  5. Soft focus
  6. Heartache
  7. The taste of a memory
  8. Ritual
  9. In 5 years…
  10. Home
  11. An adventure you hope to have
  12. Plans you made… and broke
  13. The way music makes you feel
  14. Imagine the last place you were lost — what would it be like to live there?
  15. What you’ve learned
  16. A short biography of your mother (real or imagined)
  17. A promise you made
  18. A day you felt truly happy
  19. The journey
  20. A day spent in their shoes
  21. Bad habits
  22. Your greatest accomplishment
  23. Longing
  24. Put into focus (perspective)
  25. Imagine yourself as a building — talk about your life and memories
  26. The taste of a color
  27. Attachment
  28. You, from another’s perspective
  29. A day in the life of a place
  30. She didn’t realize it at the time, but…

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Check out the official Nanowrimo site here

+ Will you be participating in my 30-day challenge? Have a journal entry you’re particularly proud of and want to share? Post it in the comments!

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  1. “A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep.” (1950)

    “I have a dream.” (1963)

    The first memory of “dream” I have is this song from Cinderella, the second major memory of “dream” is Martin Luther King Jr.

    Now, you should know that I am actually quite obsessed with dreams, ones at night and the visionary kind. I bought a dream dictionary in middle school to decipher what all of my wild, vivid dreams meant. Not to mention my favorite story in the Bible is Joseph and his “dream coat”. Joseph had daring dreams, that he believed were from God and he trusted in that. Joseph like Martin Luther King, or even Cinderella followed their dreams, as some would say heart and it was all worth it. It always is. Deciphering dreams is something that I LOVE doing for myself and others. When I was little I actually had quite a bit of night mares and I know it was my brains way of processing different things that were happening in my waking life. Today I know the quality and health of my thought life based on my dreams. If you are stressed, running or hiding from something or someone, if you are seeking something or maybe even falling in love, it will show in your dreams. That is if, you can remember them! Not only is reflecting on your dreams at night important but dreaming of plans for the future is as well. Dreaming big is something I’m good at and definitely need help in the area of perseverance when the time comes to make dreams reality. Slowly and one day at a time I know this can happen. “Dream on, dream until your dreams come true.” Aerosmith (1973)

    Thanks Free People for this 30 day writing challenge.

  2. I have participated for a few years now and enjoy it. Agree it is a great way to jump start and feel part of a community as writing can be solitary. They have regional forums and last year 6 of us ended up starting to meeting on a regular basis in the New Year and it has been great! Enjoy and go for it. Thanks for the post.

  3. Day 2: Your reality. My reality is that I am not lucky. It’s true. My reality is that I am alive, healthy, breathing, laughing, loving, and that I have worked hard and built up all of these things. I am not lucky I am successful in life.

    Day 4: The fears within. I fear… I fear? What does that even mean? Besides what normally comes to mind (i.e. “I don’t want to die by drowning!”) answering this question makes me feel as if I’m giving in to my insecurities. But, here we go… My fears within are quite simple. I am scared that I will not find my true purpose(s) in life. I fear that I will be stuck. That I will never truly reach what I know in my bones I should be doing. That is what I fear.

  4. well be definitely joining your 30 days. Thank you for reminder. i really need a kick in a butt already :)

  5. Thank you so much for this! I have just noted these down in my journal and can’t wait to get started! Particularly excited about number 26, the taste of a colour, what a wonderful prompt. This is the perfect night time activity whilst snuggled under the covers :)

  6. I’m gonna be starting this a little late, but I really want to do it. Think of the Novel you will have written if you do this every year for 10+ years. And it could get better and better every year.

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