What I Learned from NaNoWriMo 2015

Today is the first of December, which means that another year of NaNoWriMo has come and gone. Back when I filmed my NaNoWriMo Tag video, I was full of inspiration and felt ready to seriously buckle down and get writing.

Unfortunately, as you can see by my stats above, I wasn't exactly successful. I obviously did not make my 50,000 word goal. I didn't even get halfway there! But I refuse to look at this experience as a failure, because I actually learned quite a bit about myself and how I write best.

1. I'm a writing marathoner, not a sprinter. 
I did my best writing when I had several hours, or even a whole day just to sit and dedicate to my NaNo project. It was a lot harder for me to get anything written if I was just sitting down at the end of the day for a couple of hours. I think this is mainly because it took me a little while to get warmed up and into the groove of writing.

2. I'm a method writer.
By this I mean that I found it easiest to write when I was totally absorbed in the world of my story. My story was fantasy set in medieval Japan, so that meant I was listening to a lot of Studio Ghibli soundtracks and watching Japanese cultural documentaries and anime. This might sound very weird, but I now know that it is difficult for me to write genre fiction while consuming other genres through movies or television.

3. I distract myself.
My worst distractions did not involve tv shows I'd rather be watching, games I'd rather be playing, or browsing Tumblr. Instead, my biggest problem was my own brain, which seemed keen to keep skipping way too far ahead in the story. This made it difficult to focus on the section I was actually writing and is definitely something I need to work on if I plan to keep writing seriously in the future.

All in all, I actually felt like I had a fairly productive NaNoWriMo even though I didn't make my word goal. Most importantly, I feel far more inspired and motivated than discouraged and hope to get the first draft of this novel completed by the end of the year so that I can start revising and polishing it into the detailed story it is in my head.

How did you all do with your NaNoWriMo goals? Did you learn anything about your own writing styles and habits?

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