National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an annual November tradition where people spend the entire month churning out an original 50,000-word novel.

It can be about anything and the rules are simple: start writing on November 1st and finish by November 30th.

However, you can’t cheat and pull out that screenplay or story you’ve been working on and off for months and months. It’s got to be an original piece. See the actual rules here.

Why do NaNoWriMo?

If you love a great challenge, then this one’s for you.

It’s a little harder if you have more of a cramped schedule. A full load of classes, a tight work schedule, or managing kids and a household makes the 50,000-word challenge much more difficult. If you’re dedicated to the wordsmithing, then all of that probably isn’t a problem.

Sleep? Who needs that stuff. Bring the coffee.

Another reason to accept the challenge is to meet a ton of other awesome writers over on the NaNoWriMo site. The site acts as a hub for every participant, giving advice on how to get started, workshops on how to stay motivated, as well as a forum to discuss ideas with others.

So, if you’re interested, get that brain ready and charge up your favorite writing device. If you’re an pencil and paper lover like me, find a notebook that’ll last you for the month.

Challenge accepted?

I’ll give it another shot this year.

Another shot?

Yes. I tried participating in NaNoWriMo last year. I thought it would be a great way to relax during my trip to Seoul, South Korea. I ended up just having a blast in another country and didn’t get past outlining my story idea. That being said, my goal for this year’s NaNoWriMo is to get past the outline! If I can do that, I’d consider it a win.

If I can get to 50,000 words, then it’s MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

If you’re considering NaNoWriMo and would like a partner-in-arms, or partner-in-pencils-and-paper, let me know. I’ll do my best to cheer you on. Come halfway November, I’ll remind you that we’re on our way to glory and success. By the end of November and you’re like me, 40,000 words away from victory, we can commiserate. OR, we can kick ass together.

I’m on Twitter @andrewnhem if you want to toss some story ideas around. Follow the #NaNoWriMo tag to see what other writers are doing to prepare for this November.