Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month?
It's a month-long event in November designed to encourage people to write that novel they never thought they had the time to write. The rules are simple: do not start writing your novel until the first of November (you can plan the plot and characters etc., but no actual writing can take place before NaNoWriMo officially begins); then, write at least 1667 words per day to crack 50 000 words by the end of the month. Do not edit as you go, just keep typing. The point is not to create great literature in one fell swoop, but to be productive. If you want you can obviously keep writing beyond November and even edit your novel to the stage where you would feel comfortable sending it to a publisher. For November, however, the goal is 50 000 words and nothing else.
I am a perfectionist of the worst kind (i.e. the kind that never finishes anything: "perfect is the enemy of done"), so I am a little bit scared at giving myself the permission to just write (and to make stuff up), but I have decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. I'll be submitting my thesis in October (fingers crossed...), so what could be more fun that throwing myself into another enormous writing project immediately afterwards? (Errr...)
Having now outed myself in this respect, I shall proceed to soliciting writing buddies. If you're at all interested in nanoing, go to the website and have a trawl through the forum for an idea of what it would be like. I'm registered as s.ginseng: say hello if you see me. I'd also love to meet up for a writing date with Perth nanoers when the time comes, so let me know if you're interested.
Go on, you know you want to. As a friend who took part last year told me, "all you have to lose is sleep, spare time and to worsen a pre-existing dependency on caffeine".