To novelists all over, NaNoMo (or more exactly NaNoWriMo) means National Novel Writing Month and occurs each November as far back as the early 2000s. Its tagline is "Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!" Check out www.nanowrimo.org for more details. Click on the link found on the right-hand sidebar under "Favorite Links."
It is a great event. I recommend it. You write like mad for thirty days/nights and hopefully have the bones of a short novel done at the end of the month. In my seat-of-the-pants way of writing, I did just that. And was pleased to see some order of a book, even though I wrote scenes out-of-order as my intuition and imagination led me, placing them where I thought best each day.
Post-NaNoMo, I added in descriptors, of people and places. I beefed up the internal world of conflict with thoughts and emotions. I added clarifying words to sentences and some rhetorical devices to style. That is why I also recommended in an earlier post the great (screen)writing book by Robert McKee called Style (in its truncated title form). Because I was doing more of a screenplay during NaNoMo--hitting all the action and dialogue. It works for me.
As a NaNoMo participant, you post your word count (WC) for each of the thirty days of November. It is a big deal to be among the various authors with WCs greater than 50,000 at the end. Plus there is something about the accountability factor that can spur you on to write--even 250 words--after a grueling ten-hour shift at a day job you have come to despise. And chatting with a fellow NaNoMo author from the Netherlands as you do it.
While searching through the NaNoMo website, I found a NaNoMo 2011 widget you can add to your blog, too. Pretty cool all the way around.
If you don't choose to visibly enter into NaNoMo, that accountability factor works wonders for those who just exchange WC totals daily with a trusted critique partner. However, there is something magical when a mass of authors get together via NaNoMo. I can compare it to watching a football game on TV at home, or being among the crowd at the stadium with the footfalls rattling your seat. What a ride!
And what do you have to lose? Some time working on your dream? Oh yeah, you may lose some TV-watching time, some sleep, but you'll gain momentum as an author, maybe self-confirmation as well. It feels euphoric to type "The End" on page 204 of a book where you wrote it (albeit a rough first draft, double-spaced) to completion. And in a month. One month. Thirty days. Thirty days that will pass regardless. Those calendar pages fold over, gone, without your permission. Whether you wrote those six-and-a-half pages daily average toward the novel that resides in your heart and soul--or not.
Go for it! Whatever your dream . . .