At the end of NaNoWriMo, just before 9pm on November 30, 2011, I finally crossed the finish line, sweating profusely, but proud to have written over 50,000 words in one month.
And I was already looking forward to the next year.
Gulp. In exactly three weeks, NaNoWriMo 2012 begins. How did that happen?
If you don't know what NaNo is, be sure to check out the link. It's an exciting social writing competition (where you compete against yourself, and the clock, with friendly encouragement from fellow writers). 30 days. 50000 words. A promising start at a rough draft.
If you've participated in NaNo before, what did you find to be the most helpful strategies and tools? What held you up the most?
I have a three year history with the competition. In 2009, I managed to write about 9000 words before giving up. The next year, more determined, I squeaked (barely) past the 14000 word mark. Last year, I knew I needed to finish. I wasn't crossing the time line in December without that little web badge that said 'winner'. And I did it!
What worked for me: accountability = friends. Other people knowing what I wanted to accomplish and cheering me across the finish line.
Where did I stumble? In allowing myself 'days off', believing I could 'catch up' another day. Those were brutal evenings. The key for me, I believe, is consistency. Stay above that bright red line on the NaNo graph - not try to chase it down all month.
What about you? Are you stoked? Do you need NaNo friends? Leave a note, and we can cheer each other on to our own personal finish lines.
My first year, I only wrote 9000 words, but that was 9000 words I wouldn't have written if I hadn't decided at least to try.
So bring on November!