November is national novel writing month. This is a completely voluntary activity but each year, thousands of otherwise normal (and thousands of completely non-normal) people buckle down and see if they can write a novel. Clearly you can't expect to churn out a perfect novel in a sigle month, but sometimes it's a good thing to turn off that internal editor, allow yourself the opportunity to pick words that may be less than perfect, and get something written. I think it was Nora Roberts who said that you can fix a bad book, but you can't fix a book you didn't write.
For the past three years, and again this year, I've participated in NaNoWriMo, each time succeeding in writing 50K words in a single month. None of my NaNoWriMo books is published, although I think I'll publish NaNoCorporate in 2011--it had seemed less relevant after Obama's election but is suddenly relevant once again. Who would have guessed. It's not a political story, it's simply a novel set in a near-future world extrapolated from reasonable technology trends along with an extreme libertarian political structure. Last year, I wrote a young adult fantasy. I'd thought I would write another in this genre this year, but something happened and I started a romance instead.
If you're interested in participating, you can head over to www.nanowrimo.org, and sign up. It's free and there are lots of activities all over the world, so you can go hang out with other writers--or just give yourself permission to write the book of your heart. The goal, by the way, is 50,000 words. All of my books have been longer. I won by finishing the 50k words, not always by finishing the book. Even when I write "The End" I have a long editing process (hence none of the books being published).
I'm going to make KINGMAKER by Rob Preece the www.BooksForABuck.com book of the day. When her parents are murdered, Ellie Winters follows clues that lead her to an alternate earth. The power struggle there led to her parents' death, but she has to decide which side to support...and whether to become Kingmaker. Only $3.99. Here's the link: http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages/sf_05/kingmaker.html. Here's the cover (cover design by Karen Leabo):