Completing National Novel Writing Month back in November last year was a huge achievement for me.
I've always been a big procrastinator, so forcing myself to write every day and holding myself accountable for reaching a daily word count was a worthwhile experience. There's a great sense of achievement in having written over 50,000 words in one month, and it shows just how much you can get done if you choose to put your writing ahead of other things.
But I'm lucky. I didn't have a partner or children at the time. There were no complaints from the people in my household about the dodgy food I prepared, or the small piles of mess that gradually became large piles of mess up to the end of November. In that respect, I had it easy.
Even though I got past the 50k word mark, I'm nowhere near being ready to write the magic words 'The End'. This is rough, dirty draft with plot holes all over the place and no layering whatsoever... so for those thinking they will finish NaNo with a novel ready to publish are probably kidding themselves. It's really just the start of the process. But it is a start and I hope to complete this novel after many more drafts and edits.
Would I participate again? That depends. I'd consider doing this all over again if I was starting a new book, but it's probably not a smart move if I'm deep in drafts and edits.
If you've never tried NaNoWriMo before and would like to kick-start your writing, give it a go.