I’ve generally viewed NaNoWriMo as a kind of a stunt. After all, only by lucky coincidence would writing 1667 words a day be the ideal pace for any particular writer to write any particular novel. And yet, I’ve often felt a little left out, watching the NaNoWriMos go by without me. So, I decided to participate this year.
After all, having already made three failed attempts at writing a novel in the past three years, the worst that could happen would be a fourth. Against that rather modest downside, the best-case result—that I produce a completed novel that can be turned into something salable—seems worth shooting for. Even if I fall short of that, I’ll almost certainly learn something new about how I write.
It’s already been useful, actually. I’ve been outlining my novel for about a week, but I find just outlining somewhat tedious. If I’d not been following the rules, I’d have jumped in and started writing some of the bits that are already outlined. But if I’d done that, I’d have run into some serious structural problems. I know, because I’ve run into them as I’ve continued outlining. Fixing them in the outlining phase is a lot easier.