For anyone who doesn’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, although it might as well be International Novel Writing Month now, as people all over the world participate.

The aim is to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. It’s a personal challenge, so there are no tangible rewards at the end of it, save a definite sense of achievement.

For anyone who’s always thought, “One day I’ll write a novel”, NaNo is the opportunity to make that one day today.

For me, last year, NaNo was just what I needed to encourage me to write. I’m one of these people who is good at starting stories – even planning out all the details – and then not getting to the end. With the deadline, and the encouragement of everyone else doing the challenge with me, plus the great stats they give you so you can see your progress and whether you’re at the word count you should be, it was the ideal challenge to keep me writing until I finished a book.

I did have to have everything planned out beforehand though, so I knew what direction I was heading in at any given time.

Is anyone doing NaNo this year? Or did so last year? Do you find it helps get your writing down on paper? Or do you find the idea of 50,000 words in a month a bit daunting? Do you plan it all out beforehand? Or let the story come to you as you’re writing?