I will write a novel in 30 days.

Before the end of the year, I will have completed my first novel. I have not started it yet.

Writing a book is something I have always wanted to do. When I was 10 I decided I wanted to be a novelist for a living. When I was 11 I decided that would be too hard to break into, so I would “just” be a journalist instead. Went to journalism school, got a job as a page designer, decided I love design as much or more than I love writing. Was an editor and a creative director where I got to write and design. That all leads to now – where I am a graphic designer.

I have never lost my love of writing. I received a minor in creative writing in college. I love to write poetry, and in college I wrote many short stories. I have not written short stories since college. I graduated 8 years ago. But a novel – such a far-reaching dream and one I HAVE to achieve.

I have visions of myself in my mountain home typing away after retirement. Or maybe it’s a lake home or a cottage in Tuscany. At any rate, I have silver hair, no job, and nothing else to do but pour myself into my writing.

Never thought the dream would happen so soon. That is, until Chris told me about National Novel Writing Month.

Here’s how it works: You write. You write your ass off. 50,000 words in 30 days. Holy hell.

But the fact that I know this exists means I HAVE to do it. I have to write a novel, and I have to do it in November. Chris and I are going to do it together, which means I can’t blow it off. I can’t not do it.

What will my book be about? I have no idea. You’re not supposed to even think about it until November 1.

I have no idea how I am going to find the time for this. 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1,666.66 words per day. I am going to visit Chris the first week of the month, away from the distractions of home, to begin my journey.

It’s not a mountain home or a view of the lake, but I will begin my masterpiece overlooking the charming and alluring downtown of Athens, Ga. Can’t think of a better place to start.