NaNoWriMo is part of the reason I've been completely absent. The other is that once again I woke up to find my throat was completely swollen and yukky and I spent a week lying about waiting for tonsillitis to go away. And yes, that happened on my birthday. When else?
Once that was all recovered from I pretty much went right into doing NaNoWriMo.
This year I won it actually fairly easily. Every year before this I've had oodles of free time and even if I was doing stuff like important essays for university or whatever, I would be procrastinating my bum off and churning out huge chunks of text while I was dithering over three lines of essay. Of course this year I was working all the time, and so I actually needed to introduce some discipline to my work. I would write as much as I could of the word count every single morning, and even if that meant still hammering out the last hundred in between putting my hair up and hopping around with one foot in my boot, then I would update my words on the site before I left the house.
On the second day I had my time zones all wrong and I meant to do two days word count and then update the second half after midnight... It all got put on day two though, so after I changed my time zone back to the UK instead of Pacific time, I had to write another extra day, and since every single day after that I endeavoured to finish beyond the daily target, I was a day ahead at least. Add in two days of word-warring and a week where I wrote between 2-3,000 almost every day with some extra work in the evening, and I finished with a week or more left of November.
Every NaNo I've completed I ban myself from writing random scenes that I have in mind just to boost word count: I find it a much better motivator to be waiting for those scenes and wondering how I can get to them. Obviously I have to try and find a purpose to every scene I write aside from just moving the plot on. I can never write "And then they rode all day and by nightfall..." going into a scene I actually had in mind. Embers and Elves really helped me there since it was day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, and so if I wanted to proceed I had to find a reason to make that hour exciting. Hence all the stupid soap opera drama, but dammit, Medwin would not be the same if he had come from any old boring story.
Anyway, Exchange of State is probably not the best thing I've ever written and of course it needs a lot of pruning and fixing up. My aim at the moment is just to make it to the end of the month so my work won't be affected on the graph, and then to tidy it up.
And then not to do exactly what I did with The Poet and the River, by deleting all my hard work the instant I was done with it in a heartbreaking moment of confusion over file names.
Even if it's not my best work it's always good to have long finished drafts lying about, or even huge chunks of novel ready for more work later. NaNo is good for filling up folders with drafts, basically. And you can't get anywhere if you never write anything.
Anyhow I am still 800 words off my morning goal and I have to go to work soon, so I should probably stop procrastinating. :D