I fancy myself a writer, if you can't tell by my major and my writing for this site. Like most wannabe authors, I have a significant chunk of a novel sitting in a notebook in my room. I always say I'm going to work on it and get it done, but my schoolwork always must come first, and by the time I'm actually free I'm too mentally drained to string more than a couple of sentences together. It's languished this way for years. You know what? This ends now. This November, I will finish my novel. That's because November is the official National Novel Writing Month.
Started as a fun project by a group of twenty-somethings in San Francisco back in 1999, the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, is one of the most popular and widely known writing challenges, with over 350,000 people signing up to write a 50,000 word novel each over the course of November. The rules are simple: sign up on the website (or not), and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, or whatever you use). On November 30th you submit whatever you have, and if you have over 50,000 words, you win! (Granted, the prizes are discounts on writing software and bragging rights, but you deserve it. You wrote a novel.)
Being a book-loving sort, I've attempted to NaNoWriMo in the past. Granted, I never got past the planning stage, but the desire was there. This is what I'm going to have to do if I plan to write books for a living, just sit down and churn words, no distractions or diversions. Plenty of authors have done this in the past and produced publishable books. Granted, I will be cheating this year by just finishing my current manuscript, but even just that is important to me. It means I can tell a story. I can get an entire idea out of my head. It will get easier after that. I just need to get started, and there is no better time than now.