November?! I hardly KNOW ‘er!

Guys. Guys. Is this a practical joke, or is it really already the second-to-last month of 2019? Myyyy goodness, it’s quite inconceivable.

Alright, Westley, no need to be rude

Moving swiftly along from my shock and dismay at the swift disappearance of this year, let’s talk about what makes November stand apart from all the other months we encounter. We have the Movember thing, where a whole bunch of men take it upon themselves to stop shaving – that’s wild. The 3rd of November is National Sandwich Day; also I’ve heard the leaves are beautiful and the pumpkins are really gourd-geous this time of year in the Northern hemisphere (hahahaha sorry for the lame joke, I am exhausted), but I live in the Southern hemisphere so it’s actually SPRING!

But something that annually happens in November that’s particularly close to my heart, and I’m hoping is close to yours, too, is NANOWRIMO!

“What is this?”, you ask. (or I’m guessing most of you don’t because you are also novel nerds and know EXACTLY what I’m on about.) I’ll explain really briefly for anyone who happens to not know what it means – NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, a November tradition that has existed for the last 20 years! Basically, if you have any desire to write a novel, you buckle down and try to get it all written by the end of the month. The target word count is 50 000, which is just over 1 500 words a day – not your average blog post! But the spirit of the challenge is really fun and the idea is less about getting a perfectly crafted and grammatically shiny book published and far more about sitting down and getting the basics done – putting words onto paper (digital though it might be), fleshing out your characters and plot, and progressing. You sign up on their site (for free!!) and get encouragement, suggestions and a really fun community.

This is a Friday Feature post, so I’m going to share a whole bunch of my favourite NaNoWriMo poster designs and NaNoWriMo-related illustrations in a second, but I’d like to add that: a) I’ve never actually participated in NaNoWriMo, but I’m still a big big fan of the whole palaver; and b) Kyle and I have decided to try our own little version of NaNoWriMo, similar to how we took part in NaPoWriMo in April!* I’m not sure yet how we’ll post our story, but our basic idea is this: we will take turns writing a sentence or two of a story, starting from the very beginning and alternating days. By the end of the month, we’ll have a short story written by both of us, which may have taken directions one or both of us never anticipated! Perhaps what we’ll do is post our story so far on the blog once a week, which our different parts highlighted in different colours.

Allllright, time to FEATURE some stuff!

First off, how cooooool are all these NaNoWriMo posters?! As a graphic designer, my heart absolutely SQUEES at how fun, creative and well-designed they are. They’re all available for purchase on their store website here.

Next up, how gorgeous are these free watercolour printables by Evy Draws?! Plus she gives some great tips for how to tackle NaNoWriMo here – hello, it’s me, a big fan!!

Three watercolour illustrations of a laptop, cup of coffee, notebook and pen by Evelyne Park

As for Kendall Hotchkiss‘s amazing NaPoWriMo campaign project – I am just CRAZY about this. The characters! The cute, quirky illustrations! The novel (ha!) idea-generators, combining two genres that wouldn’t normally intersect! I’m definitely using this as a resource for our short-story project, maybe to springboard some basic plot ideas or just have fun with the story we already have going.

NaNoWriMo banner designed by Kendall Hotchkiss
Characters created to inspire writing, made by Kendall Hotchkiss
ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS ARE SO CUTE GAAAAAAH

NOT ONLY did Kendall design all of these cuties and create a whole campaign around them; she also made this incredibly cool video that’s also NaNoWriMo-based! I’m a big fan. Aaaaand also really want to learn more animation now…

Also loving this super cute illustration (and history of NaNoWriMo!) from Adorageek:

Illustration of a girl next to a desk, bookshelf and writing apparatus, imagining a pirate character and an alien character

I’ll call it there – how cool are all these awesomely fun illustrations and projects though? I love it when one creative endeavour inspires other creative endeavours!

Will you be NaNoWriMo-ing? If you are, have you had a fun story in mind for a while now, or do you plan to conquer a new plot that’s just sprung up in your head? Whether you’re actively participating, doing your own version of the challenge or cheering on from the sidelines, tell us what you have planned for the month of November!

*I’m also planning on doing a book post a day on my Bookstagram based on Ami’s #Booktrovember list, so follow along and join if you want to – it’ll probably be a lot more achievable than writing an entire novel! 😉

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