We all know every month is special in their own way, but November seems to be even more awesome than all the other months. I recently found out that it is not only the month to write a book, but also to make your own album or to grow a moustache.
I first found out about NaNoWriMo last year, right at the end of October. The National Novel Writing Month is all about writing a book of at least 50.000 words in one month. As an aspiring writer I was immediately excited about the idea. I joined right away and started writing on the first of November, only with a vague idea of the story that was to grow. It took some long days of missing school and work, but I succeeded at the 31st of November with 50.007 words. This crazy way of noveling started in July 1999 with just 21 people who had nothing better to do and thought writing a novel would get them dates. The satisfaction that was achieved at the first of August didn’t wear off and the year after they did it again. The number of participants grew every year and rules needed to be added. In 2010 NaNoWriMo is a huge happening on- and offline with 183.000 writers and counting. It has become a big operation within these 10 years. Famous novelists will write you peptalks, libraries and bookshops will host write-ins and every single person joining will learn the joy of finally sitting down and writing that novel.
As the above paragraph shows, I’m a big fan of NaNoWriMo. You can imagine how I felt when I found out there was more than just writing this month. Hometaping is a somewhat smaller organization run by four friends from London. The objective is to make an album of at least 20 minutes in one month. Hometaping is for everyone that loves music, not just professional artists. It’s okay to cover or sample songs, because it is not a competition, it is just a way to help people make music. Because it is a smaller organization, it is also more ‘hands-on’. There is a helpline number on their website for anyone who can’t handle the pressure and there will also be two get-togethers where the founders can help you smooth over any technical problems you might be having.
The reason I love these concepts is that they put some sweetness into making art. It’s no longer about the competition, selling your art and the public opinion. This month is just for you as an artist, it’s just about having fun with some creativity.
Movember is something completely different, but just as good for the soul. Mo is slang for Moustache, but don’t be scared by its masculine undertone. Movember challenges men to grow a moustache to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. You start at the first of November clean shaven and just let it all grow throughout the month. As a global organization, they are active anywhere near you (Our local coffeeshop even named their monthly special after them). As a Mo Sista you can get off course also try to grow a moustache, but for most ladies who don’t have this option, it is also ok to donate, help organize of just show support and love for the Mo Bro’s.
All these events make November a lovely month. As the leaves are changing color and falling of trees, we are not left out in the cold. If you want to get involved with other creative people who care about others, just walk into a coffeehouse, bookshop or music store. Look out for the ones behind their laptop, actively typing away or the one bobbing his head to imaginary music and if you see a guy with a moustache, give him a smile. Although November has already started, it’s never too late to become creative. You can still join the fun.