I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month since I moved to Salt Lake City in 2003. Literally, the day I arrived in the city was the first day of my first year, so I can remember it easily.
My tagline for the month is “I’m a novelist, but only in November.” I’m more of a vignette writer than a novelist anyway; I don’t always have an idea that could fill a novel.
I haven’t written a novel every year. In fact, I took last year off entirely, though I showed up at a couple events. And there have been a few rebellion years where I tried to accomplish tasks and awarded myself with points rather than counting words. I use NaNo for the motivation to get things done. I wrote Crowd Sourced Indexing one year for NaNo. I’ve tried to accomplish genealogy tasks more than once. One year I did a lot of organizing and digitizing of my genealogy stuff, while other years I tried to write for genealogy, but it didn’t work at the pace NaNo required.
This year, I am participating again and rebelling again. I’m trying to digitize a lot more of the things in my house. I converted all my CDs to MP3s years ago and I started scanning in the books to go with them; so continuing and hopefully finishing that will be part of my project. I also have a box of cassettes and a shelf of LPs that I hope to get through. I want to get through piles of papers that I don’t use but don’t want to just throw away.
I have been digitizing all of my genealogy conference materials for a while. I finally got back to it last month with the final three books and began NaNo with one book left. It’s done now.
I should have a bonfire for all that, but it will probably end up in recycling. I’ve attended every year since 2005 and they used to give out a giant book of the syllabus with all the handouts; that’s what the thick books and the binders are about. Other things in the pile include the daily planners, family finders, and recordings. Some years came with a CD or flash drive, and those usually saved me a lot of work scanning pages.
So now that the first task is finished, I’m on to other things. I hope I have enough stuff to scan to fill the month. I have a feeling that I do.
Who else does other things beyond writing for NaNoWriMo?