It's the dream of countless Michiganders to write the great American novel. And why not? In a state that gave us Jim Harrison (who, FYI, went to Haslett High School), Thomas McGuane, Elmore Leonard, Mitch Albom and Ernest Hemingway - just to mention a few - Michigan must inspire great storytelling.

If writing a novel is your dream, it's time to get going. And this is the month to start.

November is National Novel Writing Month. According to the New York Times, your goal is to write 50,000 words this month. The "typical" novel is 70,000 to 90,000 words, so 50,000 would be a healthy start.

The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that it's organized for newbies and there's a lot of encouragement. In fact, local chapters get together (in person no less) to help each other out and bounce ideas off each other. As a matter of fact, I checked and the Lansing group has a meetup this Thursday the 7th, at Old Chicago in Okemos. I've never been to one of these meetups, but you might find some like-minded people and learn something.

Good luck!

Here's the NYTimes story.