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!