Yes, I know. I wasn’t going to do NaNo this year. Why I even have this conversation with myself, I don’t know.
Things are going fairly well so far in terms of wordcount, as you can see (I wrote 3k+ words on Tuesday while we waited for the election results). On the down side, 16k words in, I still have literally no idea what’s going on in this book.
My first NaNo was a relatively well-planned effort. I had a list of things I wanted to hit in the course of the story, and a high-level outline. (That turned into Tisiphone’s Quest, in case you were wondering.) Over the years, my level of planning has tapered off until this year, when I am purely pantsing it–I sat down on Nov 1 with an idea for one (1) scene, started writing, and am seeing where it goes from there. I still don’t even know who the antagonist is (maybe there isn’t one…?).
NaNo is not for everyone, of course, but I have found over years of doing this that there are benefits to it that lie beyond the enormous stack of half-written projects. The annual experience of sitting down and banging out words without giving myself time to worry or self-critique has bolstered my trust in myself as a writer. I might be tired or stressed out or have no real idea where my story is going, but if I sit down and start working, something will happen.