November is just around the corner. Y’know what that means? National Novel Writing Month! (NaNoWriMo for short.)

NaNoWriMo challenges you to write throughout November, piecing together a narrative until, voila! You’ve got a 175-page, 50,000-word novel on your hands.

That may sound daunting, but it’s totally doable! In fact, more than 15,000 people did it last year.

I lasted about two days when I gave it a go during my senior year in college. But you? You’ve got gumption, and an awesome blog here on WordPress.

If you want to go for it, just follow this simple plan:

  • Every day, take a minute to sit down and write a story. You don’t need to have it all planned out, just write.
  • Post each delicious literary morsel to your blog and tag it with “nanowrimo08.”
  • When you’re hitting a wall, use that tag to check out what others are doing and gain inspiration.
  • Go to NaNoWriMo by midnight on Nov. 30 to have your novel verified.
  • Print business cards with your new title: Great American (or Indonesian or Argentinian or…) Novelist.

For some extra motivation, you could read an excellent novel while you write one! Some Automattic faves…

Jane: Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, Maus by Art Spiegelman.

Michael: Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille, Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, The Plague by Albert Camus, Crime and Punishment and The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.

Marianne: Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

Mark: The Stand (Uncut) by Stephen King.

Nick: Anything by James Patterson.

UPDATE 11/04: A number of you have asked about international participation and writing in other languages. You’re free and welcome to participate, regardless of language or location. Check out the NaNoWriMo FAQ for details.