I have completed the NaNo month and am incredibly proud of myself! Also, I'm proud of the hundreds of thousands of other people who got to finish line. There is a high percentage of teenagers that do this process. Impressive, all of them.
Here is what I learned:
1,667 words a day is possible. The catch is I have to do it every day because once I get behind, it is an absolute bitch to catch up! (That's about three pages a day, and takes about an hour or so. Larry McMurtry writes five a day, but that's because it really is his full time job. I have a paycheck to paycheck job to pay the bills till I become incredibly famous...etc.)
Writing that fast keeps the editor and the censor at bay. There is no time to question what's being put on the page, and decide that it is too stupid to say. All of that that can be done later after the first draft is written, and most times, it is surprising that what I wrote is not so bad.
When writing that fast, Dialogue flows. This was always my biggest struggle. Halted, jerky conversations between characters. This didn't happen in this process.
I don't have to wait for the Muse to be present. I can drag her by the hair to my writing space with me. She may be pissy at first, but she gets with the program pretty quick.
It's not hard to pick up where I left off. And when I have a thought while I'm not working on the project, all I have to do is make a really quick note, and later it goes on the page, and it isn't hard to remember what I was thinking. I used to believe that if I didn't write it immediately, the brilliant idea would be lost forever...not so. Sometimes it was even more brilliant :-)
I also have to add, when doing a project like this, it is really important to keep a static schedule, especially if you have a dog. They are creatures of habit and routine. When I started shortening Callie's walks to sneak in a little more writing time before work...let me just put it gently...I paid the price...Seriously, the physical exercise part was critical for clearing my head and giving me the energy and stamina to spend more time writing in a short time than I think I've done in my entire life. So having a dog is actually a really good thing. Ask her, she'll tell ya!
I learned that this was a really great and fun process and there are so many people out there who really love writing, and supporting each other is essential to make it to the finish line. Fun deal...I think I'll do it again!