NaNoWriMo Rebranded

I'd wager that most of us in the stationery hobby have heard of NaNoWriMo. November is designated as National Novel Writing Month. The gist of it is that you try to write 50,000 words in a month.

Naturally, they had to pick a busy month. The point, I believe, is that if you can write 50k words during November, you can do it during any month. It's a test of endurance and commitment. Some people are real completionists; others take the mindset that any progress during NaNoWriMo is a win.

I did it my senior year of high school with a group of friends. I wrote this novel about a conductor's last ride on a train. It was not great and definitely needed a lot of editing. Unfortunately, after years of changing laptops and storage practices, I can't find the file anymore. Not that it matters much because I don't write fiction anymore.

I do, however, still write a lot. I'm a graduate student working on my dissertation, which will eventually be as long as a book. So why not use the pressure and community of a writing intensive month only for academic writing? I am far from the first to have this idea. And thus, AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month) was born. Unlike NaNoWriMo, there are no preset goals. It's not necessarily about word count. Prior to November, participants are supposed to figure out for themselves what writing needs to get done. There are all kinds of worksheets and writing groups and blog posts and god knows what else to get one through it.

I tried this in 2019 (I initially wrote last year and then realized that nope, it was the year before.... that's pandemic time for you!). It was not a successful attempt. I did one writing meet-up with a friend, and then my life promptly fell apart, and I abandoned ship. I was still in coursework, and I did produce two research papers by early December, so I probably did *technically* win AcWriMo, but it didn't feel like a win. (Also, like my novel, those papers were piles of hot garbage.)

This year, I really want to commit. I have a community, courtesy of Thrive, PhD, to be accountable to. I have goals: I have a paper draft due by Nov 6th, and my plan after that is to revise and expand it into (hopefully) something approximating a chapter.

I also have a slightly more devious plan for AcWriMo. I do most of my writing and a lot of my revising on paper with fountain pens. Lately, I've been trying to prune my collection. I recently sold, via FPGeeks, my Penbbs 456, my Narwhal, and my Pilot Falcon. On the other hand, I've bought a Karas Kustoms Fountain K and a Pelikan M200 Pastel Green, and am planning to buy a Sailor Pro Gear Slim as my reward for completing my first draft. I've finally decided that since I've been obsessed with the pen since the pandemic began, I'll order it, ink it up, try it out, and if I don't like it, I'll pay the fee and return it. What better time than a writing intensive month to figure out if the pen will work for me.

Once I buy the Sailor, I'll have ten pens in my collection. For some people, that might seem well-contained or absurdly small. I want ten pens to be my upper limit, not my normal amount. This is because I like having all my pens inked up at once, and ten is just too many to use consistently. I'll do a full collection post probably some time next month, but suffice it to say that I have 5 cheap pens and (will have) 5 (relatively) expensive pens. My pocket pen and other note-taking pens always stay inked up. They live in my bookbag, in my pen cup, in my pocket, by the couch, and it's great and very convenient. For my nicer pens though, I have a OneStar leather pen sleeve 2 3-pen cases: a Rickshaw 3 pen cozy and a Franklin-Christoph Penvelope. I dislike having pen cases almost filled, so the best solution is the pen sleeve and one 3-pen case. And that means my Edison Menlo, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Pelikan M20x, Sailor Pro Gear Slim, and Karas Kustoms Fountain K will be competing for a slot.

Who knows? Maybe if I win AcWriMo and all the pens win a spot, I'll just buy a 2-pen cozy to round things out.