November has arrived, and with it, National Novel Writing Month! The annual event challenges writers, new and experienced, to write an entire novel in just thirty days. And yes, they mean the whole thing! NaNoWriMo has become a global phenomenon, providing not just motivation to write (which, let’s face it, every writer needs from time to time), but communities to discuss writing, meetups, and fun online tools to track progress.
It’s not the only themed month that challenges creative people, either. Inktober (October) sees artists around the world creating daily drawings based on shared prompts, WikiWriMo (February) is all about editing and updating a Wikipedia page a day, and dozens of spin-off challenges exist for writing blogs, haikus, fridge poems, genres of novels, and more. But what about new monthly challenges that aren’t about art or writing? We’ve got some great ideas to try this month, if writing a whole book seems just a little…daunting.
NaNoBreMo: National Bread Making Month
It may seem as though this has already been National Bread Baking Year, as sourdough starters have been all the rage for people stuck inside during lockdown. However, for those who didn’t get on the trend the first time (or who just never got beyond baking a basic loaf), may we suggest a month of bread-based challenges? Try your hand at raisin bread, decorative "garden" focaccia, baguettes, brioche, and more.
NaNewKnitMo: National New Knitters Month
Without getting too Game of Thrones, winter is coming…and for many of us, that means bundling up in warm, cozy clothes. So why not take a month to learn how to knit them yourself? Challenge yourself to complete one knitting project, or multiple projects. Learn a stitch a day, or just commit to spending an hour a day working on your kitting skills, and celebrate at the end of the month with a new scarf you can be proud of (even if it looks just a little wonky).
NaJoFoEaMo: National Junk Food Eating Month
This year, it might be tough to commit to big challenges, and no one could blame you! So if everything just seems a little overwhelming, NaJoFoEaMo is definitely the month for you! Each day, try a different kind of junk food! Some challengers may be inspired enough to post junk food reviews on social media, others might reach out to find their loved ones’ favorite foods and connect with them online over the best kind of cookie—or get a little travel feel (the only travel experience you may get this year) by ordering favorite junk foods from around the world. It’s the best way to broaden your palate and eat all that leftover Halloween candy, too!
NaNewHoMo: National New Hobby Month
Of course, there’s no need to be limited by anyone else’s ideas. For those who have been considering a new hobby for a while, or who have piles of craft supplies gathering dust, it’s the perfect time to make your own National Month. Try a national beadworking month, learn how to sing, try out all the recipes you’ve been bookmarking, give woodworking a try. There’s really no limit to how you can challenge yourself.
NaNoReMo: National Novel Reading Month
Finally, we’ve got the best challenge for any NaNo fans who would love to write a book…but would love to read one more. Make this a National Novel Reading Month and tell everyone that you simply must be left alone for long periods of time this month for NaNoReMo. Sounds like a book is being written, but secretly, you just get some solo time with a cup of tea and all the novels that are piling up on the nightstand. Much less exhausting!
What will you challenge yourself to do this November? Tweet @quirkbooks and let us know!