My NaNo Experience

I just completed Camp NaNo, the first time that I tried it, ending up at 50,505 words.  Not bad for starting the 12th and typing in Dvorak (which I am learning for November).

To mark the occasion, I will present a brief tour of my previous NaNo attempts:

2007:  I barely remember this one.  I think I participated for about three days, all of which I was behind.  Calling it a miserable failure would be an insult to miserable failures.  I got less than 5,000 words.  Part of my problem was that I had no community and didn’t use the forums, so motivation had to be entirely intrinsic.  Obviously, that didn’t work.

2008:  Another failure, but less of one!  I did it for around a week, and was even on schedule for a little bit of it. I tried to rope some friends into it, which helped a little.  Ending total might have even hit five digits (I estimate just past 10,000).  I still didn’t use the forums, still didn’t have a community, and writing still hadn’t clicked.

2009:  They made me an ML.  They created me a region and made me ML.  I still don’t know why OLL did that, to be honest.  I had never won, never been involved in a community, and didn’t even know much about regions, but I knew that that is what I was lacking, and I knew that I wasn’t the only one.  Others around me were the same way.
That year I wrote 184,481 words, and I won halfway through Day 6, racing with another ML (Hi Annalia!).  It clicked.  It worked.  It was the community, it was being a leader, it was getting caught up in the rush with fellow MLs.  All of the sudden, the energy of NaNo was there and I was hooked.

2010:  I changed regions to an Elsewhere, but was still ML, and this time, it really clicked.  I won NaNo on Day 1 at around 10:00 pm, and celebrated with champagne and cookie dough.  I wrote 328,823 words, competing with another amazing ML (Hi Chomsky!).  My region did wonderfully, and I drug others of my friends kicking and screaming to amazing goals.

August 2011:  I started late, on a whim.  I wrote infrequently, and never on the weekends.  I did the entire thing in Dvorak, and I won on Day 31.  For those of you keeping track, that is 25 days later than my latest win, and 30 days later than my earliest.  I just barely got my 50k, but I feel good about it.  It was relaxed in a way that NaNo isn’t.

And this year?  I am going to be doing 50k Day One again, in Dvorak.  I have roped a few other MLs into the madness with me.  I am going to try to keep pace with a group of insane writers, and I am going to be my normal, crazy NaNoing self.

I can’t wait!

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