I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year in an attempt to finally finish the coffee house book. (Since the story of the coffee house book has changed so much since I first wrote it for NaNo--and I've essentially started over with all the background work--I've decided it counts to write this month.) To do that, I'm making a double commitment/challenge. This month, I will finish the background work needed to start writing the coffee house, and during November, I will write the first draft of the coffee house book.
For those who have never done NaNoWriMo, let me explain. The event takes place in November every year and is the opportunity for the "someday" writers to sit down and actually get it done. The challenge is to write 50,000+ of a book in 30 days. I have participated off and on since 2004 and "won" twice. (And really, the coffee house book began as an idea for NaNoWriMo.) For those who participate, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, reminding you that you can make time to sit and write the story that's been following you around for years.
Camp NaNoWriMo throughout the year.
Now please don't think that you have to write a finished novel in 30 days. That's not what this is about. It's simply about putting the words down on the page. Sure, the overall goal is to write a novel, but the real goal is to prove to yourself you can make the time to write.
That's the biggest excuse, isn't it? You say you don't have time to write a novel. I've even used that excuse recently. But NaNoWriMo takes that excuse away. Because if you can write a novel draft in 30 days, there's no reason you can't carry that over to the rest of the year to tell the stories you want to tell.
If you've never done NaNoWriMo before, I urge you to try it this year. I'll be doing it right along with you. You never know what you're capable of until you sit down and actually try it. Take the challenge and on December 1st, you'll have a story. Even if you don't hit 50,000 words by the end of the month, every word you write will be one more word you didn't have on October 31st, and that's something, isn't it?
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are you going to be writing?