Tomorrow kicks off Chris Baty's sixth annual National Novel Writing Month, during which thousands of aspiring novelists will be racing toward a goal line of writing 50,000 words in thirty days. I'll join in (unofficially) and post my daily completed wordcount here.
A lot of published authors turn up their noses at NaNoWriMo and mutter about the rabble, but I'm all for it. Publishing always needs new blood; the more rabble, the better. It's also a put up or shut up for all those people who talk about writing a novel ad infinitum.
I don't recommend anyone starting out on their first NaNoWriMo try for more than 50K on your wordcount. If you've never done it before, you'll likely burn out quick. There's nothing wrong with writing 100 or 500 words a day, either. Everyone has to work at their own pace. You just won't get the nifty NaNoWriMo winner icon to post on your weblog (save that goal for next year.)
And for those of you experienced novelists who want to pace me? Reset your goal for 150,000 words. That's what I write every month.