But this year I am SO in.
It's free and the website keeps you motivated via word count graphs, discussion or in-person groups, etc. http://www.NaNoWriMo.org
The idea is you aim to write something along the lines of 1,600 words a day, every day, in the month of November. By the 30th you have 50,000 words. You do the math. That side of my brain is missing.
Wait. Calculator: 50,000 / 30 days = 1,666ish
Now there you go.
Extra incentive: they'll bind you a real, live paperback copy of your work once you've finished. I believe that's also FOR FREE! And, of course, you can order other copies for friends, neighbors, to give as holiday gifts and submit for literary prizes, etc.
For locals, I set up rough times for the writer's group to meet at Cafe Firefly here in Algonquin:
Saturday evenings from 6:00 – 9:00
Sunday afternoons 1:00 – 4:00
Sunday evenings 6:00 – 9:00
Any weeknight 6:00 – 9:00
If you can show up, show up. Hopefully someone else will be there. For more structured meetings just contact the group via me: firstname.lastname@example.org
If anything weird happens, like an alien landing or the place going out of business just contact me.
Now I'll admit, I have done some rough outlining for my novel-in-progress. I will NOT start writing it yet but I'm getting characters in order and an idea of what's happening to whom by whom and in what general order. That's not cheating! I can't go into this completely cold. I'd get nowhere. Not that I'll probably get nowhere anyway, but that's how it goes.
Feeling inspired? Bored and looking for something to do? Come clean my house. Join up NOW!
And that's how I'm going to survive the dull, dreary, misty days of November. If only I had something planned for December, January, February and at least half of March.
Taking it month by month.