The Nanowrimo Challenge

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Nanowrimo Challenge is interesting for me to challenge because I am an introvert. As part of this introversion I like to be concise and to the point. That’ why I like twitter conversations. Why say in one hundred and fourty words what you can say in one hundred and fourty characters? Trying to write one thousands six hundred and sixty seven words per day is very hard for me. It requires me to extend what I have to say. It requires me to elaborate and to answer the “So what?” question in more depth than usual. Every year I start November thinking about how I want to attempt and succeed and eventually I give up.

The first year that I attempted NANOWRIMO I made it. I managed to write more than 50,000 words in a month. It was my first time writing fiction and my first time writing something so long winded. I never re-read what I wrote because I never found the courage. Interestingly enough I think that what I thought and wrote about a few years ago has become a reality. On other years the attempt failed because I found work and so had insufficient time and motivation to write for two hours a day. How convenient. 😉

This year I wanted to explore social networks and the history of how people interact on them, from web forums, deviant art and other forms of interactions to myspace, facebook and twitter. I want to look at how conversations went from being blog posts to being comments to being tweets to being silly emoji and eventually become a listening rather than a conversational medium.

I believe that I am a textrovert. When I use the word textrovert I do not mean that I like to send text messages by phone as SMS. I mean that I like to get to know people via the written word before I meet people in person. I want to learn what I can converse about without worrying about other people listening in. I also dislike competing with other people for attention. Sometimes I want to have conversations with people but I struggle to engage them properly and so I go back to the written word.

People don’t like the written word. They often feel that you are ignoring them by looking at your phone, by having a conversation with other people. If you have the intention of listening then you have the right to feel that people should put their phones down. If you only want to talk then do not be offended by people living in a text based world instead.

We need to get back on track. I expect to gain two things from this month’s challenge. The first of these is that I expect to develop ideas in more detail than usual. Instead of using a single sentence I will fill in the gaps, provide context and relevant information. I will attempt to behave like a standard/normal person. Why say in ten words what you can say in two hundred words right? How can you do this whilst adding more information rather than going around in circles?

I am out of my comfort zone. I feel that by writing far more than I need to write I am rambling, and I want to avoid rambling. At the same time as a camera operator and as a photographer I am used to creating more content than I need and then editing that content to something short and entertaining. When it’s with a video camera I do not worry about rambling because rambling provides me with more choice, more opportunities and more coverage. There is of course the small matter that when I take pictures or video I edit, and that with the written world I am less methodical. It is not that I don’t know how to edit but rather that as I write for pleasure I write for myself. People can read it if they like, and if I allow them to.

Over the next month we will see how many ideas I explore and develop. We will see how I find 1667 words of inspiration every day for another 29 days. I expect that I will manage. I managed half a decade ago. I should manage again today. When I reach the fifty thousand word count I will feel good about it.