In case you've been living in a cave with no connection to the outside world, November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel between 12:01 a.m. on November 1st and 11:59 p.m. on November 30. That averages out to about 1,667 words per day.
Mind you, they don't have to be great words. They don't have to be good words. Sometimes they don't even have to make sense. The challenge is to tap into your creative center and let the sentences pour forth. It's a strict rule that you can't delete anything from the first draft. Everything goes in your quest to meet your word quota.
Not all writers love NaNo, but I'm a huge fan. If you haven't given it a try yet, here are a few good reasons why you should.
1. It Separates You from Your Inner Critic
You don't have to kill your critic off or put her in chains. After all, you'll need her alive and well for the revision process, but for just 30 days, imagine that he or she has gone to a spa or a conference for frustrated English teachers. This will free you up to write your worst--and, paradoxically, your best.
2. You Can Have Fun with Writing
I write for a living, and while I love what I do, most of my assignments aren't really that much fun. When you're participating in NaNo, though, you can be as crazy as you like. Want to add ten monkeys to a story just to see what happens? Drop them in! Sick of your main character? Give him a case of the plague and let the chaos begin.