A bit of writerly background.
I started writing when I was about twelve. I read fantasy and science fiction like it was going out of style, and it inspired worlds in my head.
I’m quite a bit older that now, but for an incredibly long time, my writing attempts all went the same way. Write 30 pages, usually by hand, draw a map, create detailed characters, and then stop. The story would continue in my head, but the writing part? Not so much.
And then, in October 2004, someone told me about NaNoWriMo. I panicked, as the thing starts in November, and didn’t do it. I didn’t think about it much, until the following September, and I decided to give it a whirl. And I was hooked.
I do NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) every year now.
For those who can’t be bothered to follow the link, NaNo (that’s how we shorten it) is a thing where people challenge themselves to write 50,000 works in 30 days. There are no fiscal rewards, nothing is published (unless you go on with the work and do something with it), just the personal satisfaction of having managed to write 50k in a month. Or not, as often happens.
Lots of people think this is fucking bonkers. To them, the concept that there is pleasure to be had in the act of writing is so alien that they can’t grasp it. I personally can’t imagine not writing. The lack of accountability of NaNo is wonderful, frankly. I can write complete rubbish, and it doesn’t matter. No one except me will ever know. This makes it fairly free of anxiety, especially once I figured out that writing 50k in a month is something I can do. I wouldn’t want to do it every month, but once a year? It’s actually fun.