Like a trainee social worker or a graduate of philosophy, it is important for the NaNoWriMo participant to reflect on their experiences and achievements in order to get the full benefit from the experiment.  So, what have I learned from churning out 50,310 of literary fiction over the past 29 days?  (For the slower amongst you yes, this means I have now ‘finished’ the challenge for a second year).

  1. NaNo is not a time for Literary fiction.  It is a time for quests, humour, twists and silliness.
  2. Literary Fiction is, if anything, harder than I anticipated.  And I was anticipating that it would be well hard.  It is not the sort of thing to attempt in a month.  Not without about 50k forward planning anyway.  At least I now have that…
  3. Write or Die is one of my favourite things on the internet.  It has helped me focus on getting words down brilliantly, and I can only assume that had I known about it earlier this year I would have had a much higher word count – particularly in those difficult summer months.
  4. My inner critic is decimated.  The other day I wrote 869 words in 20 minutes.  These were not quality words.
  5. Other people doing better than you is a good motivational tool, so thanks to Writing Buddies John and Laura for racing ahead and finishing pure ages ago.  Your purple-for-finished status bars on the website galvanised me right up.

Now to get ready for book 12 (which at this point in time is likely to be a series of one off webcomics, although we’ll see how I feel come Thursday…)

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