Instead of several small daily gifts to myself this month, I've chosen a single, larger prize: several hours each day of writing time. And the ultimate goal: a book at the end of a month.
If it sounds crazy, it is. But enter 100,000 of my closest friends, and you'll see I'm not the only one giving myself this gift this month. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and in my humble opinion it's the most fun you'll ever have working your ass off.
This is my second year participating, and the experience has taught me a few things.
1. Writing faster comes with practice. I started training for my writing goals a few months ago to get my brain in shape.
2. Writing is a gift to yourself. Because it's about expressing the thoughts and feelings we don't get a chance to express every day.
3. NaNoWriMo encourages good writing habits. 10 p.m. at night? Doesn't matter, you haven't met your writing goal. Tired? You can sleep in December, when you've finished your first draft. The point: I know lots of published authors who still have day jobs. And they do get up at 5:30 to write before work or pick up their pens at the end of the day.
So, if you're game, head on over to NaNoWriMo. And don't worry too much about your word count. Just remember, signing up is your promise to do something for yourself every day.