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Release Your Inner NaNoWriMo Rebel

Anna Gooding-Call

Staff Writer

Anna Gooding-Call is a librarian and writer originally from rural central New York. She got her BA in the city that inspired "The Twilight Zone" and confirms that the hitchhikers really are weird there. Today, she lives in Massachusetts with her wife and two cats.

You don’t need to write a novel for NaNoWriMo. What are rules to you? Nothing, that’s what! You’re a rebel, baby! Here’s how you dance the NaNoWriMo rebel dance. If you’re not a rebel yet but feel that surging tide of defiance rising within you, consider this your sign. Time to go off-roading on that literary trail to glory.

An Annotated Bibliography About the History of Table Settings

Let your research about eating utensils and positions never go unnoticed! Set your goal at one academic article a day. Read it, absorb it, cite it, and then let flow forth your opinions and analysis about the humble spoon.

A Very Detailed Daily Diary for Your Hamster

Your hamster leads a charmed, fascinating, Kafkaesque life. Take your hamster on adventures. Engage with your hamster. Watch your hamster with an automated webcam for a few days to see how it likes being surveilled. Then write all about its behavior, feelings, concerns, and the weird glass-walled nightmare in which it finds itself.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes Forever

NaNo is a particular challenge for us Americans because Thanksgiving dominates the latter part of the month. Don’t waste your precious time writing something fanciful! Thanksgiving is culinary war and you only have three weeks to prepare. Invent recipes that will suit your plant-based dietary needs. Create new, fantastical smoothies of almond cream, mango, and paprika. Dream up new uses for fruit leather. Make up for the critical paucity of animal-free Thanksgiving recipes with the Lovecraftian beasts of your repressed vegan rage. It doesn’t matter if the recipes are any good. It’s Thanksgiving. They will eat what you give them. Plus, you can edit later.

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Get excited for the #NaNoWriterSelfCare Photo Challenge! . If you’re a writer and have participated in NaNoWriMo, then you’re probably familiar with the dreaded NaNo “hangover” or not being able to continue with your writing after November. . A common thing I’ve seen among my friends (and myself) is they push themselves so hard in NaNo, wanting to reach their goals, that they don’t take care of their health as well as they should. . This is what inspired me to start this challenge. Each day in the month of November there is a prompt to remind you to take care of yourself. . Some of the prompts are straight forward and others are more abstract. The goal is for you to take the breaks you need to make sure that you feel great at the end of the month, even if you don’t “win” NaNo in the way that everyone thinks of. . Feel free to use this challenge as a guide or to go your own path. Either way, remember to take care of yourself, refill your well, and have fun! Tag me in your pictures and use #NaNoWriterSelfCare so others can find your pictures and connect with you. . Happy Writing! . . . . . #instagramphotochallenge #nanowrimophotochallenge #writerphotochallenge #writingcommunity #selfcare #writerselfcare #writer #amwriting #nanowrimorebel #wegotthis #photochallenge #loveyourself

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A White Paper for a Computer That Hasn’t Been Invented Yet

Quantum computing is about to knock us all directly onto our asses. Get out in front of it by composing technical specifications for the quantum computer you want to own. Let’s face it: you’re done with serial buses anyway. Screw binary and all the years you spent learning to read it fluently! Build the computer of your dreams in your imagination and then meticulously detail how many millimeters each side of Quantum Chassis Version 1.0 will be.

Descriptions of a Series of Random Objects You Find All Over the Place

You need to write a little less than 1700 words a day to win NaNoWriMo. That’s 340 descriptive words about five objects every day. All you need are 150 random small objects to describe and you’ll be all set up to win this thing like a NaNoWriMo rebel. Your descriptive powers will be off the chain by the time you’re through. Time for a thrift store run!

Book Reviews of Titles That You Haven’t Read

Just choose them randomly from Project Gutenberg, Goodreads, and your local library. Don’t read them. Just make wild assumptions based on the title, cover, and whatever else you’ve gleaned about it from common knowledge and social media. Do one a day.

A Postmortem of the Worst Entertainment Event You’ve Ever Attended

Everyone has one of these in their past. Whether yours is a terrible high school musical or the concert where your buddy’s band debuted their final and most memorable song, “A Fart In The Rain,” you’ve got opinions and they could fill a book. This one’s a true challenge. Do a deep dive. You may need to pull out some Aristotle to really make your point.

Letters to 30 People Discussing What Your Relationship Means to You

Want to be sweet for the holiday gift-giving season? List 30 people you know and write each of them a heartfelt, 1667-word letter detailing what makes your relationship special. Extra points: choose people with whom you aren’t intimate, like professors and bosses from ten years ago. Triple points: actually mail them.

Ontological, Philosophical, and Psychological Perspectives on the Term “Cray-Cray”

It needs to be done. You’re just the NaNoWriMo rebel to do it. Expound philosophically on why we use this bizarre abbreviation. Do all the research, or do no research. It’s just an obnoxious and vaguely offensive phrase that everyone wants to see raked over the coals. Make up your own rules about it if you want to. You’re a NaNoWriMo rebel, baby! Turn that status quo into rubble and stomp it into diamonds with your NaNoWriMo boots.

Yes, you should do NaNoWriMo. It’s not too late! If you’re already flagging, we’ve got fuel for your creative fire right here.