I've taken the plunge just now, and at the last moment have signed up for National Novel Writing Month - aka Nanowrimo. For those who haven't heard of this, it's an online month of encouragement to keep bums on seats and fingers on keyboards, but giving you a goal to write to in order to finish a book in 30 days. For me, that will be a first draft, and I'll be working on finessing and polishing that draft for a month or so after.
30 days - 50,000 words.
I remember the first time I did Nanowrimo - back in 2002, 10 years ago now. I really doubted that I'd be able to write volume, the thought of writing that amount ever was so daunting I needed a challenge and Nano gave me one. I was a writer who wrote for one month a year. Now I'm a writer who writes all the time.
The support from the forums, the little rising word count meter, and the deadline helped me achieve my goal of writing a full book in 30 days. And when, back in 2002, the deadline rolled to a close and I had completed my target, I'll never forget the feeling of achievement it gave me. Yes, the book wasn't great, but it was the first time I'd written more than a couple of thousand words of anything. I could do it!
I nano under an assumed name. I don't join in with all the fun things that go along with nano, for me it's all about self motivation and I'm a lurker. This year, nanowrimo is just one thing that I'm doing, and after a couple of years away, I'm glad to be back!