... 2009 (today), is marked the 1st of 30 "days and nights of literary abandon"; that is, the 1st day of Novel Writing Month (aka, er, NaNoWriMo). More than a hundred thousand people have taken part, in various languages, in previous years. The idea of this self-avowed "fun, seat-of-your-pants" exercise is to write 50,000 words -- less for younger writers -- between today and midnight November 30:
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.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. 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.
Sound like fun? Registration and details here for adults; here for youths.