Well, on October 1st, the new Nanowrimo site launched for this year. I discovered this yesterday, when I thought I'd just go see if anything was happening. So I am now an official participant for 2009, yay! I'm quite excited. I have a story idea, based on a dream. I have one character for said story. I have a novel to finish before it gets to November, and I'm going to try and get ahead with college work/distance learning course work, so that I have more time in November to write. I'm excited already. Hopefully that doesn't mean I end up abandoning this idea and writing something else, but we'll have to see. Whatever I write, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I have done the last two years.
If you've never done Nanowrimo, I'd really recommend it. Basically: you try and write a novel of 50000 plus words during one month, that of November. A large number of other people are writing at the same time, which is quite encouraging. I know 50000 words seems a lot, but it's definitely doable. It's only 1667 words per day. I think the first year I did it, I managed to get the words done by getting up an hour earlier in the morning, and that was it, other than typing up. Last year, I didn't get up early, I just squished it in whenever I had time, and I still managed it with time to spare (although I didn't write as much because the story finished before I got to quite as high a word count as in the first year). So yeh, it's great fun. Stories that you think started out pretty sensible/boring end up with a bazillion unexpected twists. Because you can't stop and edit, you do get interesting author's notes (NB: This character no longer exists, is the worst example from last year...). But you also get a novel length book at the end of it, and the satisfaction of having done it in a month. I wish I'd heard of Nanowrimo earlier on in my life, but I've really enjoyed it the past two years, and I've made some great friends through it and the follow on events (Nanocomo is the site I'm most active on). It makes you realise you're not the only writer in the world :D.
So yeh, go for it! It's free, it doesn't take anything but time and a keyboard (and internet access so that you can verify your wordcount and get a cool certificate). And it's fun.