Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Is it time for FamHiWriMo?

I got an email this morning from Chris Baty. He's the NaNoWriMo creator. It seems the folks at NaNoWriMo have some new projects for 2007. The first is a screen-play-in-a-month event which will be held in June 2007. Interesting, eh? There's not a lot of information posted about it yet but you can sign up for further announcements at scriptfrenzy.org if you're interested.

The second project involves a thread in the forums of the NaNo web site. It's called "Trying Big, Fun, Scary Things Together 2007". Here's the scoop:
Think for a moment about those activities, classes, and endeavors that you've long daydreamed about, but have never quite got around to tackling. I'm talking about the roads less traveled---the tuba lessons, the family-history writing, the foreign language learning, the transformation of your living room into a multi-story race course for feral hamsters. These are the nonessential creative activities that get us in over our heads, bring new people into our lives, and help make life more magical.

As adults, we tend to steer clear of these pursuits because they take time and cost money. But putting off all our adventures for later comes with its own set of costs. Our souls become dry and brittle. Our energy levels sag. Our noses fall off.

Which is why I'm inviting you to pick a couple never-before-attempted endeavors that have long intrigued and daunted you, and then do them in 2007.


Yep. Once you have your list of new adventures post it in the Adventure Log, 2007 thread of the brand-new Trying Big, Fun, Scary Things Together 2007 forum on the NaNo site.

We'll cheer each other on, post updates on our various achievements and defeats, and generally revel in the joys of being inspired dilettantes. I'll also email a special certificate to anyone who accomplishes at least one of their Big, Fun, Scary Things by the onset of NaNoWriMo---October 1, 2007.
It's sort of like the New Year's resolutions we genea-bloggers made except the emphasis here is on facing the big, new, and unknown. Trying something new. Like resolutions "kicked up a notch" as Emeril would say.

The screen-play-in-a-month event got me thinking... What if there were a write-your-family-history-in-a-month event? Do you think there would be any takers? I'm here to tell you, doing it at the same time as other people and sharing the experience is a powerful motivator. That deadline-at-the-end-of-the-month is pretty powerful too. It really forces you to turn your internal editor off and push on to the end. Of course you don't end up with a completed history but you do end up with a finished first draft. And that's probably the biggest hurdle for most people to face in writing projects.

I'm guessing The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors probably wouldn't be too quick to endorse such a project since they're about writing excellence and this would be about "get the job done", but hey, I think the idea has some merit. What do you think? Is it time for FamHiWriMo?