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November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). You may not have known this. It is a time of frantic literary abandon in which those of us who dare, spend 30 days in a valiant effort to produce a 50,000-word novel.

Many of you may think this is crazy. Those of us who have done it before know that it’s crazy. And yet, we come back year after year because there really is no other experience like it. This will be my fifth year running, and I don’t plan on stopping in the future. I do, however, plan on getting as many people to share in the experience with me as I can. You could say that misery loves company, but it would be more appropriate to say that there’s nothing like a little self-inflicted peer pressure to help you reach your writing goals.

So about two months ago I began persuading, challenging, encouraging, and (in some cases *cough* Dan Bischoff *cough*) brow-beating others at SEO.com to join me in this literary journey. We have about nine of us willing taking on this crazy goal.

Will we be writing the next New York Times best sellers? Who can say? But we will be producing some imaginative, fun stuff. When you write on a deadline like this, you can’t help but be wildly creative.

Matt Cutts is Doing it, You Can Too

Don’t think you can do it? Think you’re too busy? Even Matt Cutts is doing NaNoWriMo this year. You’d be surprised how you can find ways to make time to write your masterpiece (or a close approximation of a masterpiece, anyway).

NaNoWriMo takes a lot of work, and it can be hard to keep your motivation up all month long (especially when your characters start running out of things to say or you have plot holes so big you could park a bus in it … next to a cruise liner), so at SEO.com we started tracking each other’s word counts. We started on a whiteboard, but our designer decided to help us out and created a page that would automatically track us all.

So, in the interest of even more self-inflicted peer pressure, we are inviting you all to check out our NaNoWriMo chart and see how we’re currently doing on our novels. Don’t go easy on us if we start to slack off. Sometimes we will need the extra motivation.

Our NaNoWriMo Progress Chart

Oh, and we included Matt on our chart because we all want to see how he does this month too, but this in no way implies that he is directly affiliated with us. (On the other hand, he did shave our President’s head last year at PubCon… so maybe that makes us pals.)

November is a crazy month for everyone involved with NaNoWriMo, but December is oh-so-sweet when you’ve got a brand new novel you have written yourself.

Join Us!

If anyone out there is also signed up for NaNoWriMo and would like to be included on our Chart of +1 Peer Pressure, leave your NaNo user name in the comments and we’ll add you to our chart.