For some of you, November is a month of preparation for a giant dinner that may or may not be a disaster. But for writers, November is better known as National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, as it's affectionately called, challenges writers to compose a 50,000-word novel in one month. It's not so much about producing the perfect novel as it is about just, well, producing.
Why do people put themselves through this?
Because writing is hard. Really, really hard. Sometimes, you put your pen to the page (or fingers to the keyboard) and nothing happens. You tidy up the apartment a bit, or start that load of laundry you've been putting off. You go through your email and delete all your unsent saved drafts. You produce nothing, and you feel terrible.
NaNoWriMo offers constraints that make it much harder to evade your own creativity. There's a time limit. Your goal is 50,000 words. You don't get to make excuses because you signed up for this thing. You can't let your own fears of failure get the better of you because thousands of people are doing this with you. They're counting on you to stick to it, because they want to stick to it too.
We've seen writers come to Kickstarter with the same desire for constraints and community. Set a time limit and a funding goal. Make a promise to your backers. Hit the launch button.
Creator Matt Forbeck wants to kick it up a notch by writing 12 novels in 12 months. That's one novel, per month, for an entire year. 600,000 words.
"I want you to dare me to do it," he says.
It's exactly this sort of challenge that will defeat the curse of "Someday I'm gonna write a novel." 110 backers are daring Matt to do it.
Part of why Kickstarter exists is because money cannot be the thing that stands in the way of creation. That is not a world we can afford to live in. When you remove all of the barriers to creation, the money, the self-doubt, that extant pile of laundry, all that remains is you and the novel you're about to write.