It's that time of year again. Everyone's a writer or can be. Who came up with the idea of nanowrimo? How many people actually go through with it? http://www.nanowrimo.org/ The idea is to write a novel in a month and there are websites to sign up with and post your daily number totals. Entire classrooms, even in high school, sign up for the task.
For me, nanowrimo gives me external permission to get away from the endless editing and the business of trying to get published (sending work out is a huge undertaking in itself). It gives me permission to do what a writer does, which is simply write! I am often so involved in the other aspects of writing (editing, etc) that I forget what it is to be involved in a story to the point that it is the backdrop to my life. It's what I think of the moment I wake up; it's what (or what happens to the characters in the story) makes me cry or dance around my living room. I wrote my first novel when I was 21 or so and this obsession so frightened me (I though I was going crazy) that I avoided writing for many years.
So for nanowrimo I set no goals for myself. I don't even bother to sign up anymore. That would defeat the purpose. I simply write as much as I can.
The idea I started with this November is "What would make you take up arms?" What's your starting point? What would make you take up your pen? Go with it and enjoy.