It's called National Novel Writing Month and it happens in November. (I know, crazy month- right in the middle of Halloween and Thanksgiving, right before Christmas. I think January would have been better...)
Participants write approximately 1,666 words every day in November for a total of 50,000, producing a rough drafted novel by the 30th.
Yes, it's hell on some days. You struggle to move forward after that initial burst of creativity and energy--but it's doable. Here's why you should do it:
1. You have this great idea and it's in your head, affecting your sleep. You're always thinking about it, developing plot twists as you try to sleep, killing off characters as you eat, revising the ending as you tune out people talking around you. You need to exorcise this book idea.
2. You're under a deadline. Maybe it's one from your editor/agent for a follow-up book. Maybe you're going away for a vacation right after the holidays and know you won't get any work done for a while. Or maybe you have a work/school/family thing that is going to put a kink in your writing schedule. Get the novel written during NaNoWriMo and breathe easy.
3. You want to realize that dream of having written a book. (You do know this will be a rough draft and you shouldn't book your tickets to LA for the screening of your book-made-into-a-movie just yet, right?) So many people say "I always wanted to write a book when I had the time/when I retired/when my children were in school..." etc. Now you have a month to do it. Stop yammering and dreaming and Just. Do. It.
4. You want to join the club. Several well known authors have books that came from NaNoWriMo. (Some of us less well-known authors have books from NaNoWriMo that we're still working on: revising, trying to sell, etc.) In common, we cover every genre. Along the way, these authors share tips and encouragement. Beth Revis (among many) sending you encouragement! Plus, when you're done, you get a cool certificate.
5. So many people will be doing it and social media may be a bit dull while we're all busy writing. Don't miss the fun, the camaraderie, the gathering of writing tips, and the sense of achievement to share with others on this journey.
Next, I'll share some tips I've learned and collected to help those who are contemplating this bold initiative. Stay tuned, and start thinking about that book!