Awhile back, when I went to Floripa on my first totally solo vacation, an idea came to me for a fiction book. It wasn't much, but I started forming some concepts as I sat alone on the beach. For some reason, I didn't do anything with them, even as more ideas came along after I went home and as they festered at the back of my mind ever since. It's not that I didn't have time; I didn't really have the desire to do anything about it. (Plus, the Internet is eternally distracting.) Also, being that I work best on deadlines and put existing commitments above personal projects, it never made it to the top of my to-do list.
But then, by way of Brazen Careerist, I came across a little event called National Novel Writing Month, run by a small non-profit in San Francisco. The idea is to write a 50,000 word noel in a month. As the website describes:
"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."
Now this is not at all my style - I'm a perfectionist - but I was also notorious in high school and college for writing obscenely long papers, sometimes longer than necessary. So in theory, it's doable, though I have no realistic expectations of finishing, nor of coming out with a decent end result.
In any event, I'm going to give it a try, for nothing more than to force myself to at least give it a shot and see what I come up with. Being that I now have a part-time job, freelance work, job hunting, and a possible second part-time job, I won't have much time. But I figure that if I force myself to join a huge group of people doing the same thing (peer pressure always works), then I will at least start. You can track my progress here, and I would gladly welcome any friends to join and try this ridiculous feat with me.