National Novel Writing Month started in July of 1999, but has since run every November. The internet creative writing project has seen hundreds of thousands of participants over the years, with its primary goal being to encourage people to write well, a novel, in just one month. NaNoWriMo's website offers a place where writers can register, track your progress, and hang out with other people trying to crank out the next Pulitzer Prize candidate. Literally millions of words have been written during NaNoWriMo, including those that make up Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, which went on to be published and was a New York Times Bestseller.

If you can't imagine writing a novel, National Novel Writing Month suggests you start off with just the first line (you can find plenty of people working on them on Twitter with the hashtag #NaNoWriMo). Here's one: "It was the first of November. I thought maybe I would start writing a novel, but instead, I ended up writing an article about National Novel Writing Month. It would turn out to be a fateful decision."