Closer, ever closer ...

Comes the most exciting month of the year. November, when NaNoWriMo takes over my mind, my house and all my waking hours.

Last year Brighton (and Hove actually) had 37 new novelists. More than 37 started, on 1 November, full of confidence. At least two of them, by 27 November, were living on coffee and crying with misery and despair. By 30 November though, those 37 were all wildly celebratory, word-drunk, full of triumph.

NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month. Although it's not a novel necessarily (one has to write 50,000 words in November) and it's not national, as people from all around the world take part. But it is about writing. 1667 words a day, if you work it out that way, for 30 days.

I have the honour (and sometimes horror) of being Brighton (and Hove actually) Municipal Liaison. I try to herd those literary aspirers into coffee shops and bars (okay, they don't take much herding in that respect) and into writing their words ever day (more like herding cats!) and to keep them on track, happy, and productive.

It is the most worthwhile thing I do all year, the most fun, the most demanding and - in the end - the most affirming activity I've ever taken part in. As I say, it's barrelling closer like an out of control truck, and I'm feeling a mixture of panic and delight.

If you've ever wanted to write a novel, perhaps this November you should join us?