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7 Spin-Offs Of NaNoWriMo You Have To Check Out!

Hello, ‘NaNoWriMo’ers! Have you started on your project for this year’s NaNoWriMo, and if so, how is that going? Also, are you available, or at the very least interested in trying something else alongside writing your novel?

And if you’re not a ‘NaNoWriMo’er, are you unsure as to what NaNoWriMo is?? And – and this is more for me than anyone else (as far as I know) – why is it such a hassle of a name to type out when it has in-between caps?? Well, if you want the answers to any or all of these questions, please read on…




NaNoWriMo, an acronym short for “National Novel Writing Month,” is an online platform, as well as a challenge taking place in November, for aspiring writers to take on and belt out a 50,000-word novel within a whole month! According to its site, NaNoWriMo is “a website, a community, a wildly ambitious writing event – and so much more!”


NaNoWriMo illustrated logo

Image via Den of Geek


And so much more indeed, as it has not just NaNoWriMo, solely dedicated for writers to write their novels that could very well be future bestsellers as were Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, but also other times of the year – besides November – poets, conspirators, and knitters (oh my!) can put their skills to the test in belting out all of the material they have within themselves (best of not), all within an extremely short amount of time.

Fellow creatives (or those determined to be), what do you say to that? In this case, you’d better be like Barney Stinson and say, “Challenge Accepted!”


HIMYM Barney Stinson saying "Challenge Accepted!"

Image via Karim Vaes –


So, you want to know what the site has in store for you? Read on below…


1. ACWRIMO: ACADEMIC WRITING MONTH (or formerly known as Academic Book Writing Month)

I know, I know: this doesn’t sound all too creative, at least to the creatives, but if you need a month to put together an academic paper that’s sure to be filled with research (citations and all), then this might be the way to go. All you have to do is set your word-count goal (yes, it can be less than NaNoWriMo’s standard 50,000 count), track your progress every day towards it, and declare your final results by the end of the month (in this case, the month of November).

If you do this for every academic paper you had (or still have) to do in high school or college, or even for any written project you may have to work on, then you’d never have to worry about rushing together something that’s supposed to be taken this seriously at the last minute again!



Or in other words, the month to write your feelings out in the old-fashioned, underused but certainly never obsolete art of letter-writing, the art that might never go out of style in getting your feelings across to a loved one.

The challenge is that you need to write 30 letters (or cards, or postcards, or anything that can be shipped in an envelope) in 30 days, and they all have to be sent via the standard shipping rate, basically “snail mail,” nothing like express or expedited shipping where it gets in to the person within only two or three business days. Yep, if this has to be old-fashioned, then it has to be done the “old-fashioned” way, or something next to that in today’s busy world where everything is devalued in the way that everything is rushed to be delivered but not always whole-heartedly cherished.

So, if you miss the classic days of writing your friends and family letters before phones and other devices have come in to take over your life, then give this a try (for 30 days, that is).






If you’ve ever been called a “conspiracy nut” for voicing your belief in that there was no moon landing, or that JFK wasn’t shot and that it was his head that “just did that,” then here you go…

Your job is to craft your very own conspiracy theory within 30 days, observing other theories out there, as well as demonstrating in your own theory the way that these theories can be “artful” at times, and make sure that there aren’t any loopholes that might discredit this “crazy” theory of yours! 



Calling all knitters: this one’s for you! Much like writing and sending letters in a mostly electronic world, the art of knitting and crocheting your own clothes is still very much alive! (I personally don’t knit, but I applaud those who do!)

You have 30 days to knit something, and if you want to be a budding knitter and learn the technique on the subject along the way, then kudos to you! And bonus if this project, when it’s finished, is perfect for someone who likes hand-knitted clothes! This will make your holiday shopping a little bit easier…

If you want to get started on this challenge, here’s a free template of a basic sweater pattern from Ravelry.






Want to draw a novel instead of write one? Then, this would be perfect for the aspiring illustrators and artists! Draw not 30, but 50 pictures in just 30 days. Why? Well, do the math: 50,000 words per novel on NaNoWriMo = 50 pictures x 1,000 words per picture, because “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Ha!

Also, speaking of pictures…



While there’s a challenge for drawing up an entire novel, there’s also one specifically for picture books mainly geared towards children (or maybe adults with childish hearts). Starting in the month of May – and not November – you can write the picture books you always wanted to write, but there’s a catch: notice that the name of the challenge ends in “wee” and not “mo,” meaning that it is a weekly thing; not only that, but it is not one picture book per week (seven days to write one book), but it is one picture book per day spanning over a week (seven days to write seven books)!

So, come May, you’d better have at least five ideas for the kind of books that the young’uns (either your own or anyone else’s, or both) would want to read. After that, the ideas for more books to write will just keep coming and won’t stop coming…



More for poetry than for fiction or nonfiction or any fiction in-between fit for a novel? Well, treat this challenge as your very own online poetry slam! (This way, you are spared the nerves and humiliation that would come from performing a poorly written poem on a stage, and your audience will be snapping to your well-written poetry from the comfort of their own homes!)

For this April challenge for all the still-live poets aspiring to be like the Dead Poets Society gang, write a poem every single day for a whole month, which, for a proud poet such as myself, should be a sinch. I write poems for my online platform (not on NaNoWriMo) all the time. This challenge is ideal for anyone already skilled in the poetic art, an art that has been around for centuries, or anyone looking to belt out a rhyme… on paper.

So, which one of these challenges has gotten the creative juices flowing just by reading the description, or descriptions? If you want to learn more about NaNoWriMo in general, visit the site here and happy writing (for the month)! It’s never too late to put up a novel in you that just might hit the bestsellers list…




Featured Image via Freedom app