I love to write and spent a number of years teaching myself to write with the help of workshops, writers groups and talking with established authors. I finally learned to write and was on the verge of getting published. However, I found out that I wasn't all that keen on all the hustling it took to become a paid author. I wrote mostly science fiction and fantasy short stories and went to many science fiction conventions to meet and greet. So, instead, I turned my sights on a different creative career (computer programming) and left writing to fallow until I was ready to try it again.
So, after 10 years of not writing, and not reading any science fiction, I come across this contest. I've been reading a great deal, all novels and all genres, and decided to challenge myself. When I was working my tail off to write short fiction, I found that my mind naturally gravitated to short story plots. I was at a loss to plot out an actual novel. I was, admittedly, intimidated by the idea of trying to do so after so many years of inactivity.
Thank you NaNoWriMo for getting my off my butt. The novel is progressing well, the plot is spinning out at the proper pace (I think) and it's been a total blast.