Last month, October for those unsure, as always saw the return of various creative outputs projects, usually Halloween themed and most commonly visual, such as Inktober, 19 Days of Halloween, etc. And the return of the accompanying discourse and issues around those projects, but for our purposes we will ignore that aspect for now. This month, November, brings about NaNoWriMo, the annual novel writing project that invites people from everywhere to take a plunge and write that project they have been wanting to. Both of these are community based creative projects with the intent of getting artists out of ruts and giving a sense of deadlines to complete a work whatever it may be.
I have personally participated in several creative outputs events such as the ones listed above sometimes to success more often than not to partial completion. I wholeheartedly understand why taking on these types of, for lack of a better term, competitions can be daunting and worrisome for so many. However, I also see the far more positive benefit of them. It gives people an arbitrary goal and timeframe to complete said goal. For myself, and I am guessing many people, this aspect of having a specific endpoint to a project with daily and weekly markers of progression is amazingly helpful.
But beyond the utility of progression markers and arbitrarily enforced deadlines, these types of projects, and the people and organizations that run them, also provide a kind of community, or at least an easier ability to create one. You are given access and connection to a multitude of like minded individuals who are sharing a common goal and aspiration with you. It is basically a large scale writers or artists group where you can get suggestions, discussion, sounding boards, or merely motivation and provide the same for others.
Add that many organizations and individuals use these events to raise funds and attention for charitable works and I can say I am a fan of these movements. I can’t always participate, but the intent and atmosphere around them are always a sight to behold and encourage. And who knows, maybe someday I will get another completion and “win” at one of these creative output events.
So, what do you think? Are you a fan of movement/events like Inktober and NaNoWriMo?