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The Year of Doing Big, Fun, Scary Things Together

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The Year of Doing Big, Fun, Scary Things Together is an endeavor run by NaNoWriMo to explore new things in a new year and share those adventures with other Wrimos. The challenge itself is similar to making and adhering to a New Year's Resolution.


Chris Baty proposed the adventure in an email to NaNoWriMo participants sent in December 2006:

:The truth is that 2007 is the Year We Will Be Trying Big, Fun, Scary Things Together.

Yep. It turns out that November was just a warm-up for a year of stretched brains and uncharted horizons. To help you make the most of TYWWBTBFSTT, the Office of Letters and Light will be hosting a couple great challenges---high-velocity screenplays in June at ScriptFrenzy.org, and another round of noveling in November.
But there's more.
And it's up to all of us to pull it off.
Think for a moment about those activities, classes, and endeavors that you've long daydreamed about, but have never quite got around to tackling. I'm talking about the roads less traveled---the tuba lessons, the family-history writing, the foreign language learning, the transformation of your living room into a multi-story race course for feral hamsters. These are the nonessential creative activities that get us in over our heads, bring new people into our lives, and help make life more magical.
As adults, we tend to steer clear of these pursuits because they take time and cost money. But putting off all our adventures for later comes with its own set of costs. Our souls become dry and brittle. Our energy levels sag. Our noses fall off.
Which is why I'm inviting you to pick a couple never-before-attempted endeavors that have long intrigued and daunted you, and then do them in 2007.
-Chris Baty, email sent to NaNoWriMo participants, December 2006

Common challenges are similar to New Year's resolutions and can include:

  • Learning a foreign language
  • Planning/taking a trip
  • Learning to play an instrument
  • Losing weight
  • Reading x number of books
  • Getting married
  • Buying a house

Creative endeavors with specific goals (such as 50,000 words or x amount of art pieces, etc.) are also welcome, though typically saved for Nanowrimo and its rebels - BFST are typically large, singular goals (such as "get a novel published" or "create an art portfolio".)

A separate forum opens for the Big Fun Scary Adventure challenge in December. Participants in the challenge post their goals for the new year to be completed by October (specifically before the site launch, since that is when the forum vanishes). Everyone who completed at least one of their goals in 2007 received a certificate. As of 2015, the post-November category was renamed to I Wrote a Novel, Now What? and made year-round.

The Year of Doing Big, Fun, Scary Things Together forum

Forum Description

"What will you explore in [year]?" (2007-September 2013)

"What will you explore in [year]? What big, fun scary adventures are you taking on? Don't wait for New Years, start now!" (December 2013-2014)

"What will you explore in the coming year? What big, fun, scary adventures are you taking on? Don't wait for New Year's, start now! Let’s tackle those dragons together." (2015-present)

Popular Topics and Threads

The sticky post allows users to post big fun scary lists; however, individual threads are allowed, and some Wrimos do this instead. Threads for the more common goals will often be posted for people to come together around a single topic. Threads are often started for writing months in the off-season. Participants also usually make a monthly chat for hanging out and accountability on month-to-month goals.


Current Moderators

Former Moderators

  • Sammy (2008-2009)
  • essbee (2010)
  • Hype (2011)
  • crogers (December 2015-pre-NaNo 2017)

External Links

The Year of Doing Big, Fun, Scary Things Together forum