TODAY KICKS OFF THE WOULD-BE novelists’ annual motivational event, NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write 1,667 words a day for a total of 50,000 by November 30. (I participated one year, and have a fairly mediocre time-travel novel to show for it.)

But some of us who write aren’t het up on novels so much as, say, short stories about a mercenary cook who used to be a holyman but can’t quite shake his past. Toward that end, I invite you to join in the alternative: NaSSWriMo, an acronym which I just made up and won’t insult your intelligence by defining. The idea: 1,000 words, or one solid hour, each day (whichever comes first) — just to see where the process takes us.

It might generate a pile of good work. Or it might generate a pile of scatty first drafts. Either way, you’ll travel a bit further down that ol’ literary road. What do you say?

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