Reflections on NaNoWriMo 2011

Another NaNo is wrapping up.  My official stats:

  • My final word count was 13,767.
  • I averaged 458 words per day.
  • I wrote something 14 out of 30 days.
  • Not one day did I manage to write the 1667 needed to keep on track.

Overall, it was a pretty pathetic showing on my part. I had a strong (relatively speaking) start, but then pretty much crapped out as the month progressed.

But what’s important is that I’m now almost 14,000 words further along in my WIP novel, A Handful of Wishes.  And I learned several important things:

  • My muse is a jerkwad.  There were days when I sat in front of the computer but couldn’t think what to write.  I know the whole point of NaNo is to just get it out there, but I couldn’t even do that.
  • I have a hard time forcing myself to do something I don’t want to do.  Sure, there are days when I don’t want to go to work and I do that, but hobbies are different.  It’s not that I’m fickle, necessarily, just that I go in spurts.  I’ll throw myself into something for a couple weeks or months, then move onto something else.  It’s not that I’ve lost interest; it’s just something else is now more important to me.
  • I won NaNo in 2009, and that novel is crap.  Pure, will-never-see-the-light-of-day, let’s-pretend-it-never-happened crap.  I wrote it in 30 days, and it shows.  Granted, it was my first attempt at a novel, but it was still pretty bad.  My first real novel, The Lone Wolf, took nine months to write, as well as a year to edit.  I do much better writing when I’m not under a word count deadline.

That being said, I’m still glad I did NaNo this year.  And I’ll probably do it again next year, with the same results.

Did you NaNo this year?  How’d you do?  Any thoughts to share on the whole process?

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