NaNoWriMo Reflections

November came and went, and 50,777 words later, I finished the task on time. I tried to stick to a schedule this year, forcing myself to write at least the required 1667 words a day to finish on time. For the most part, I kept up this schedule. However, I seemed to have the habit of taking Saturdays off, thus playing catchup on Sundays. Miraculously, I managed to do so. I also thought I might get hopelessly behind over the Thanksgiving break, especially since we were heading to Victoria, Canada that weekend. Somehow I only got one day behind which I caught up. Looking back, I still am not sure exactly how I did it.

This was my second year participating. Last year I only made it to the mid 30K mark. I took the lessons I learned from last year (such as starting on time) and applied them to this year. The daily word count goal seemed to work very well for me. To sum up, here are the lessons I learned from this year.

1.) Start writing on the first day, no matter what.
2.) Know the ending of your story. It doesn't have to be solid, just something fuzzy will do.
3.) Set daily word count goals.
4.) Write until your goal is met. If you are on to something, keep writing until the thought is complete. Buffers are your friend.
5.) Try to leave off for the day in the middle of a scene. It's a good motivator for the following day.
6.) Write even if you don't feel like it. Write a sentence. Then another. The words will come.
7.) Don't worry about the details. Editing comes later. Writing comes now.

Would I do it again next year? Um... ask me in Oct. ;-) Probably. It was a fun journey and I'm now the proud parent of a cute baby story. Yay! Now, to go back and edit it (a.k.a. de-crappify).

Congratulations to all of you who did the NaNoWriMo journey this year. Even if you did not cross the 50K finish line, just taking on the challenge is something to be proud of.