I wrote 50,440 words. I also took 6 days to recover. The question is, was it worth it?
The answer is, I'm not sure (how decisive of me, eh?).
Yes, I wrote 50,000+ words on my new novel. On a normal month I write around 20-25,000. So I doubled my output. The problem was, it wasn't a sustainable pace.
Like a lot of other people who tried it, I have a full time job and a small child. I also have a nasty exercise habit that gets me out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and a convention I go to in the middle of it all. All of them are immoveable objects in my life.
So what did I give up?
I averaged 5 hours a night or less for a month. Yes, I can do that. No, it is not happy making. It leaves me zombified and drinking too much caffeine, which in turn (because I am allergic to caffeine) leaves me shaky, irritable, prone to mood swings and given to sudden exhausted collapses, one of which happened on a weekend with my daughter.
That was not happy making.
The other issue is that the name of the game in NaNoWriMo is volume, not quality. I can already see that there's at about 10,000 words that are going to be cut entirely. And there's a fair amount of the rest that will need some serious re-working (even more serious than usual, and that's saying something).
So while I highly recommend NaNoWriMo for those who need impetus to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, I will not be taking part next year. Instead, I am focusing on three writing projects between now and then:
1. Editing my new book, a young adult piece set in Victorian London.
2. Finishing the third book in my "Magics" series for Dragon Moon Press (which was my NanoWriMo project last year).
3. Writing a new historical fiction piece that's been brewing in my mind for a while.
Will I get it all done?
I think so. And hopefully with more sleep than I got in the last month.