NaNoWriMo is a yearly challenge - international now - to write a 50,000 word novel in November. It's only as a a first draft, so quantity trumps quality, the intent being to nudge all those wannabe writers out there to just sit down and write.
I've written off and on since high school, reports and user manuals for work, letters to the editor and blogs for pleasure. Friends have often said, "You read a lot, you should write a book", but I don't think it's quite that simple. While I agree that reading a lot can certainly help you to learn what works and what doesn't, how characters develop, how scenes flow, how locations come to life, it doesn't automatically make you a writer.
I decided anyways to give it a try. I signed up for this last week on the NaNoWriMo site, and have since been planning and researching to get ready. Some may be OK with doing a stream of consciousness or following where the random ramblings take them, but I decided I would feel more comfortable with some structure and direction to create within. And when faced every day with another 1600 words or so to write, might help me to keep rolling. My novel has grown in scope from a simple story about street smart RCMP cop goes to run a northern detachment - there's now a murder, Federal meddling, First Nations concerns, a young heroine with links to local spirits and native lore and graffiti murals - and he has a super-power.
There's an active local presence in the Ottawa region of "Wrimer's", with lots of great ideas and support. We'll see how it goes - I may even have time to blog the process. It would be a great way to procrastinate.
Here's what I sent out as a press release to various local contacts ...