Yes, it's that time of year again when aspiring and/or hobbyist writers -- as well as those creative souls who feel their lives slipping away year by year with nothing to show for it but debt and some nice pics on Flickr -- join together with others across the world for National Novel Writing Month. November is but a 30-day month, and if you haven't started on your new novel draft, then, well, you have a little catching up to do. The idea isn't to come up with something polished and perfect, but just to write every day, about whatever, and hopefully link some stuff together into something resembling a 50,000-word cohesive story. (Watch the video above for some tips for getting started.)

Media Bistro has this inspiring/annoying story of 22-year-old Jessica Burkhart who translated her NaNoWriMo project (a tween novel about an equestrian school) in a 12-book deal. While not everyone may come up with publishable results, you'd be surprised how satisfying it is just to have a completed draft to brag about, and to know that your November wasn't lost to TV/porn/booze and video games like October was. (And if you want to be a total dork about it, you can put one of these participant widgets on your own blog that tells people how far along you are.) Happy writing everyone!