One month from today, on November 1, I will begin writing a novel that I will finish by November 30. But I won't be doing it alone. Hundreds of thousands of writers will be working alongside me to pen 50,000 words in just 30 days.
I have officially been participating in National Novel Writing Month since 2007. For some, writing a book in 30 days is a daunting task. As a novelist, a month is the perfect amount of time to pour my thoughts onto paper. I can consistently write a book in 30 days because I've had a lot of practice writing a book in 30 days. It's not some magic talent, it's an acquired skill. It's my past experience as a writer that pushes me to be a better writer.
But National Novel Writing Month isn't just for novelists. It's an opportunity for anyone who has ever wanted to write a book to write a book. And I don't just mean writers. Maybe you've never, ever attempted anything creative in your life—that's okay! The whole point is to write. The only prize offered is the satisfaction of finishing. No one's going to read your work. No one's going to judge you. Your only competition is yourself, to see if you can accomplish something that maybe you've never done before.
Please keep in mind that just because you start writing a novel doesn't mean you're obligated to finish. Maybe you'll get a few chapters down on paper. Maybe you'll end up with a really great short story. The real challenge isn't writing a book—the real challenge is giving yourself the opportunity to try.