I have done a number of personal and public challenges to offer myself some form of accountability in my writing. No matter how much this is a smoke and mirrors trick on myself, it works for me. Change Write Now pushed me into losing weight and getting back into the swing of writing every morning – no matter how hard it is to get out of bed. Writing Streaks put me into the mode of motivating other people to keep ahead of my word count as well as getting me into the writing habit with at least one local person. Okay, so I may be addicted to community like Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club.
This past couple weeks I’ve also been feeling a fund-raising pull. Had I signed on earlier and been able to set up a pledge page, I would have been doing the Walk a Mile event. Now I was looking towards cancer-related charities, but locally my family-favored one The Badger Childhood Cancer Network has a golf outing coming up being sponsored by my Italian Heritage Club. Also, I don’t have the resources I used to for putting together a gaming weekend event like I did several years ago. There’s also the foundation started through the Rockstar Ronan story I started following due to social networking. (Side note to wear purple on May 12th. Memory and all.) And while these are all worth the time and any effort I can put through, I have settled on something a little more directly involved with my life for my personal effort this month.
Love it or hate it, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has not only kickstarted me back into writing, but has gotten me more involved with the local writing community. Local authors and support groups have been more an effort of writing conferences and social networking, but this group of aspiring authors are really my people. They’re in the same boat I am. In a strange way, I look forward to the whirlwind that is November every year. Hell, I even shamed Dale into participating this year even though she had no intention of doing it. I meant it when I told her the write-ins wouldn’t be the same without her. To answer the question, this has everything to do with the fundraising effort I am going to take on this year.
Donations to the Office of Letters and Light (the folks than run the NaNoWriMo site) go to funding the event every year and the Young Writers Program they run. I see it the way some people see Twilight, which is to say that even if you hate the idea of NaNoWriMo, it is getting people – young people especially – writing. I can’t see this as being a bad thing. To that effect, I am going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, their June event that is sort of a summer camp of writing. The goal is the same, a 50k story in 30 days. In this instance though, you can set up a pledge page. Once I have the page set up and ready to take donations, I’m thinking I may do some kickstarter type stuff for this. Such as first person to pledge X amount to the fund gets to name a character, pick a genre (from within a list), pick a villain, etc.
According to the web site, the top fundraiser is being given a Neo (battery operated portable writing devise). It seems to me that this will not take the place of my iPad and wireless keyboard, so in the event that I win it with donations, I think I’ll run a writing contest for teens. All entrants will get posted and the winning story will get the Neo. Relatively sure I’ll handle this one locally. Not 10o% on that, and honestly not sure I need to worry about it.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Any categories of challenging writing inserts/sparks you’d like to seed out there for your donations? Post now or until the end of May hold your peace.