In honor of writers everywhere, I'd like to give a little shout-out to November, which since 1999 has been National Novel Writing Month. The annual challenge to write 50,000 words of a new novel in just one month's time has had a steadily growing following, hosting upwards of 200,000 registered participants in recent years. The challenge is for quantity rather than quality, and encourages writers to work their way through the first draft, to be edited or scrapped at the end of their thirty-day challenge, as they see fit.
The challenge, founded by freelance writer Chris Baty, started with just 21 participants its first year. In 2000, the month-long challenge was officially moved to November, "to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather." Baty also wrote a book to help out challenge writers, published in 2004, called No Plot? No Problem! Though Baty stepped down as Executive Director of the project in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career, the challenge lives on and is still going strong.