Me showing off my new swag :-D
This year, as I have every year since 2003, I am diving into the wonderful world of the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is typically known. Now, I haven't won every year. In fact, 2003 I didn't make it past the first week. I've had a few spectacular failures in the last 10 years. I've also cheated a couple times, and I've been a rebel at least twice that I can remember (either finishing up a story I'd already started or writing a series of short stories to hit my 50k).
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get to 50k words in 30 days. This is usually attempted in November, though they do have Camp NaNo as well, this year in April and July. I attempted both camps too and while I succeeded in July, I failed miserably in April. I just didn't have my heart into it in April.
November has its own problems, namely Thanksgiving and family gatherings for the holiday. That can derail your progress if you're not careful. Now, you can do what I do which is write and bank a lot of extra words at the beginning of the month to make up for taking time off for the holiday. You can do what a friend of mine does, and let your family know that you'll make up for this in December but November is off limits for family gatherings. Or you can take your laptop/notebook/ipad/whatever with you to your family's house and write while everyone else is talking. Hey, at least you're there even if you're not being overly communicative, right?
This year I'm trying something a little different for NaNoWriMo. Normally I'm a pantser. I come up with a vague plot bunny in October and come November I start writing on it without any planning. This year, I'm doing up an outline, character sheets, maps, etc. before November 1st. I intend on having a plan for November instead of winging it like I usually do. We'll see how well that goes.
One of the things I've been able to do this year, which I haven't been able to do before, is support NaNoWriMo financially. I bought two t-shirts and a hoodie this year. The profit from the store as well as donations goes to keeping NaNoWriMo going. I'm proud to be able to help support this awesome organization. They have a Young Writers' Program to encourage kids to write. It's just an amazing program all around and I love participating in it each year.
You can find more information here on NaNoWriMo if you haven't heard of it before. Go, check it out, and join the madness.