What is NaNoWriMo?
A) A glorious and exultant writing experience.
B) One of the most hideous tortures invented by human beings.
C) A month-long contest in November wherein the challenge is to write a 50,000 word story.
D) All of the above.
This post is for Neil Shay, mostly, in answer to his question.
NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It is the brainchild of one Chris Baty, and happens every November. It's one of the craziest things you might undertake in your life which doesn't involve physical bodily injury.
The goal is to write 50,000 words of fiction, between midnight November 1st and midnight November 30th. That's it in its simplest form.
Your writing style changes when you write to a deadline like this. You forget about spelling every word correctly, grammar goes out the window, and (for many people) even those blind alleys you take when you're doing the creative thing end up staying in.
It's rather hard to describe. Baty has written a book, and even that really doesn't begin to cover it. At the end of the day (and I know it's cliche), you really do have to experience it for yourself.
2008 was my first real experience with it (I conked out in 2007 after a couple thousand words). It was, as I said in the opening, both a glorious, exultant experience and at the same time hideous torture.
And even if I thought I could psych myself up again for it, I just don't know where I would find the time. It's possible, but unlikely. But I will still probably sign up, and still root for others, if I know they are participating.
For more info on NaNoWriMo, you can visit NaNoWriMo.org.