One thing I should have mentioned last week, November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It’s an annual Internet-based creative writing project each November, where participants sign up to write a 50,000-word (or whatever output they wish to produce) manuscript in 30 days.
Besides being a challenge, the growth of NaNoWriMo is a like a simple-repeatable-meaningful case study itself. In its first year, 1999, it had 21 participants. By 2010, it saw over 200,000 people write over 2.8 billion words.
I signed up for it (hat tip, Mike Long), but may only do it here and there. Instead, this week I’m taking the first baby steps towards a book about the Challenge Mindset. I’m going back to catalog the 200+ stories I’ve included in this newsletter since late last year. I’ll be doing this using a note-card-in-shoebox-method, a mashup of the processes of Ryan Holiday and Michael Crighton. By the end of November, I hope to have this completed, which will make outlining a book much easier, for me anyway.
I resisted the idea of writing a book for a while because it seemed too “expected”. Maybe I should try another form (web video series, serialized podcast aka an audio book, maybe even an illustrated volume). But, the point isn’t the form as much as the mastery — developing deeper knowledge about a concept that came from very humble, very intuitive beginnings. This isn’t a public speaking book. It feels much more elusive than that and requires time to understand. So, a “book” is for now, is just a means to an end.
We build up a lot of things over time: experiences, stories, theories, conceptions, and unfortunately, misconceptions. Just like NaNoWriMo, if we have the regimen and the patience, we can make time work in our favor, exponentially. Hope to have good news built up by month’s end.
Speaking of books: In the meantime, check out the forthcoming book from my friend Ozan Varol. It’s not out until April 2020, but you can get immediate digital access if you pre-order. He’s working on a pre-release campaign and has a good shot to make the bestseller list. He’s already gotten endorsements from Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink. And now, me.
Founder, The Idea Enthusiast. Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, and writer about all things creative consulting. DC-based consultant to individuals who want to be more creative, teams who want to collaborate without fear, and anyone who wants to deliver the best pitches and presentations.