By Bonnie Huffington

November comes, and so starts NaNoWriMo. What is NaNoWriMo is a massive writing challenge, standing for National Novel Writing Month. As the name suggests, the challenge is to write a fifty-thousand-word original novel in the month of November. It’s a self-motivated challenge with a wonderful community of writers that you can find locally and online.

NaNoWriMo (often shorted to NaNo) started as a challenge between a bunch of friends and has since grown into a 431k strong writing force which has produced over 250 traditionally published novels as of 2015. Every year, billions of words get produced (over 2.8 billion in 2010) by writers who may never have gotten around to putting ideas into words without the two big things that NaNo provides every participant: a goal and a deadline.

How do you win NaNo? Well, that’s simple: you write a fifty-thousand-word novel. That’s it. Done. You’ve won, and it’s no small matter either! By the end of the event, you’ll have created a brand-new novel that the world has never seen before and that didn’t exist before November first. Traditionally, participants were guided to do their NaNo novel as a single, fresh work of fiction, but in recent years the rule has been loosened to allow for continuing previous works without labeling oneself as a Rebel (a fully respected status that even has its own board on the forums). First-timers, however, are still encouraged to start a brand-new project to enable them to ride that wave of new idea excitement.

And the event is not only online! The millions of NaNo participants are split up in real life into physical regions led by a volunteer Municipal Liaison (ML) who’s responsible for arranging local kick-off parties, write-ins, a halfway party, and the famous Thank God It’s Over (TGIO) party after the month ends and people slowly emerge from their literary frenzies.

So if you’ve been writing for a long time or have been stuck in the long drudge of ‘somedays,’ sign up for NaNo on www.nanowrimo.org and jump on in. We can’t wait to see what you produce!