Last year I participated for the first time in the NaNoWriMo challenge, also known as National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November every year. I didn't hear about it until mid-October.
The challenge is to complete a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Despite working full time and homeschooling 4 children, I was able to complete the challenge last year. I'd never written fiction before, at least not as an adult. I was quite pleased with my results and am currently seeking representation for my novel.
My son, then age 12, also participated and completed a book, although it was not 50,000 words. Children have a different program and can set their own goals. My daughter, age 10, attempted the program and enjoyed it, but didn't end up with anything completed.
Most people that participate in NaNoWriMo start planning weeks or even months beforehand. I haven't started outlining yet, but I likely will very soon. My kids will once again be participating to the best of their abilities.
You can start now by:
1 - Deciding to participate
2 - Reading the Basics
3 - You may outline your plot, but may not begin writing until Nov. 1st
4 - Read about the Young Writers Program
5 - Set writing goals for your children
6 - Decide on your incentives (NECESSARY! lol)
7 - Consider a donation to NaNoWriMo ($10 gets you a halo next to your name! lol)
8 - Register anytime after October 1st
So, my challenge to you and even your children?
PARTICIPATE! Decide now that you will participate in NaNoWriMo.
Even if you've never written fiction.
Even if you have no extra time.
Even if your kids don't like to write.
You never know what might happen as a result of it!
(If you do participate, let me know! We can be NaNo Writing Buddies and if we live close enough, we can have a Write-In!)