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The End of Hacktoberfest — The Beginning of NaNoWriMo

A hardcore programmer/developer’s take on NaNoWriMo

With over 8 years of professional experience in programming (more specifically with mobile and Android app/game development), coding has been a huge part in my life. It has brought food on my table for all these years. It has helped me get global recognition through open source. It has helped me get job offers from big giants like Facebook. And surprisingly, it has helped me become good writer and coauthor of two world wide published books.

Naturally, I am a talkative person. Storytelling has been at core of my heart. And this storytelling has brought me to writing, which is a great communication channel through which I can share my ideas and expressions.

For lots of years, I have tried to blog consistently and regularly with tools like Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, and finally Medium. Medium is awesome and it has given me a home to write and read, 1000+ followers, two awesome publications (AndroidPub and FlutterPub) with about 40k followers, and a community of beautiful people all over the globe.

Today’s the 1st November. And this day is kind of a bridge between my two most favorite parts of life: Programming and Writing. You might be thinking of how. October is about Hacktoberfest challenge and to contribute to open source projects by creating 5 pull requests. And November is about NaNoWriMo and writing a 50,000 words novel in whole month.

Challenge Completed: Hacktoberfest

Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration of open source software. It is a challenge where developers all around the world have to submit 5 pull requests to open source projects hosted on Github.

This time it was the 5th year of Hacktoberfest. And in return for all the first 50,000 developers, who successfully complete the challenge, they will get a limited-edition shirt.

Hacktoberfest T-Shirt — Image Credit: Github Blog

Hacktoberfest & Me

I also participated this year in the challenge and managed to create 7 pull requests in the month of October. Luckily, all were merged. I submitted my contributions to Mozilla, Travel Mate, and my own libraries (EasyValidation and MediumClap-Android).

My Contributions for Hacktoberfest 2018

Before Hacktoberfest, my major open source work included my own projects and doing all work by myself. But, with a full-time job and spending quality time with family leaves me very little time for doing other things like open source work or writing etc. So, this time I created few issues on my own projects and added “hacktoberfest” labels on it.

Surprisingly, a lots of people started working on my projects and I was getting pull requests from other people. I couldn’t even imagine this in my whole life that other developers, whom I have never met or know, will contribute to my projects. I believe that’s the power of open source after all.

Challenge Accepted: NaNoWriMo

Heavy challenge? Nothing like the last one Hacktoberfest? Just like Hacktoberfest, this is also the first time for me on NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month (NoNoWriMo), is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. Well-known authors write “pep-talks” to keep them motivated throughout the process.

NaNoWriMo & Me

Typically, its a novel writing month challenge where I will have to write 50,000 words (that’s huge man!) on a novel with story, characters, theme, scenes, etc. Well, that’s a writer’s job. I don’t consider myself a writer. So, I am bending rules of NaNoWriMo a little and making it about writing articles with collective words count of 50,000 on Medium.

You can call it National Medium Writing Month — NaMeWriMo.

For past few months, I am going with about 4–5 articles per month and I am spending less time on writing. This is affecting my Medium profile and my inner piece a lot. So, I am taking this challenge to write 50,000 words of articles on Medium and I am going to try to write one piece daily at least.

I know, this is going to be a lot tough for me considering my day schedule. But, that’s what challenges are for? Right? To push you beyond your expectations and limits.

How Can I Do This?

Now, being a programmer has taught me to make logic and decisions based on the logic. So, let’s see what this 50,000 words really mean and how could it be possible to complete it for me?

1666 words. That’s the number of words I have to write daily if I want to finish 50,000 words in 30 days. In all my years with blogging and Medium, my longest article has 1763 words. This article took me a few days to write. On average, my article’s length has been about 3–4 minutes with 500–650 words. That’s what I reach to when I try to write article in one go.

So, for this challenge of NaNoWriMo, I am gonna set the mark of 1000 words daily. That’s a reasonable goal I believe for me and I think I can achieve it. Writing is like an art and more like a happiness and expressiveness. So, words count really doesn’t matter at all if my article in out and being read by you people. So, my more focus is going to be putting at least one article a day.

Wish Me Good Luck 😄

This is the biggest challenge I have accepted I think. It took me about 2 years to finish my second book. And after that, I have never been able to push me so hard. Maybe I am scared of not committing on something like the book and maybe I will not be able to do it. But, its worth a try.

But, sometimes you have to exceed your own expectations and surprise yourself. So, I am taking this challenge to see how far I go with this. Wish me good luck and best wishes for this.

Wajahat Karim is a graduate from NUST, Islamabad, an experienced mobile developer, an active open source contributor, and co-author of two books Learning Android Intents and Mastering Android Game Development with Unity. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his family, do experiments on coding, loves to write about lots of things (mostly on blog and medium) and is passionate contributor to open source. In June 2018, one of his library became #1 on Github Trending. His libraries have about 2000 stars on Github and are being used in various apps by the developers all around the globe. Follow him on Twitter and Medium to get more updates about his work in Writing, Android and Open Source.

Also, if you have any questions you’d like him to answer, contact him through his website at wajahatkarim.com with DEAR WAJAHAT in the subject line.

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Wajahat Karim

Wajahat Karim

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🔥 Google Dev Expert (GDE) in Android . 📱 Android Dev . 💻FOSS Contributor . 📝Writer . 🎤 Speaker . 👶 Developer Dad — 🌐Subscribe at https://wajahatkarim.com