One of my favorite English professors once told me that being a writer means that it’s harder for you to write than it is for the average person. At the time, when “writing” meant churning out a ten-page paper on Conrad in the two hours before class and breathlessly running to class with wet ink, I had no idea what he meant. Today I don’t think I can write my phone number on a napkin without revising it .

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was designed for people like me. The idea is to write a 50,000-word novel (about 175 pages) in one month. According to the website,

“By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down. ”

NaNoWriMo also offers a Young Writers Program , which allows kids to set their own writing goal for the month. I hope plenty of teachers will participate with their students!

The event kicks off November 1st and ends midnight, Pacific Time, November 30th.