I've participated before, and found it was a good experience. I won't be starting something new this year because I'm still working on Broadcast 7, and I don't know if it'll be finished in time to start something in November.
I am celebrating National Novel Writing Month in my home town of Sudbury by becoming a sponsor. I'll be paying for a few extras for the group, writing a pep talk, giving a presentation and making sure everyone who sticks with it gets a copy of my favourite book on writing as creative after-care. Sponsoring this event isn't expensive, and it makes me feel like I'm helping other writers out a little.
Why now? The answer, for me, is simple.
We're in the age of information dissemination. It has never been easier for a content creator to share their creations and ideas with the rest of the world. If you're a musician you can create anything from a vinyl record to a website and a spot on iTunes. If you don't like the publishing industry but want your novel made available you can do so electronically, on paper, or create your own audio book.
The age of a billion audience members who all have the power of authorship is here whether we like it or not. National Novel Writing Month is one of the vehicles out there that encourages budding authors to try their hand at writing a short novel in a short amount of time.
The talk I'll be giving in Sudbury will discuss the age of a billion author audience and self publishing. I don't talk about self publishing often because I'd rather discuss my own fiction, but I'm anxious to take this opportunity to inform a group of writers on the pros and cons of taking your writing career into your own hands.
I'll be keeping pace with the writers as I work on Broadcast 7 during November as well.
[If you'd like to see a great discussion about the Billion Author Audience, check out the free and excellent documentary: Press Pause Play]