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National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.I've been participating since 2002, myself. Not always with success, mind you, but I've at least made an attempt to start each year since then. ^^; I've crossed the big 50K mark three times, and made it to a real "The End" only once. Even in years where I didn't get very far, though, I was always glad that I tried. It's just such a great concept for a writing event, and when you're really feeling it, it's amazing both as an individual and a collective experience.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.