NaNoWriMo is coming, and once again I am on board. I've been doing it since 2003, and while I was sorely tempted to give it a pass this year (because I have a lot on my plate) I realized, as the time grew nearer, that I just couldn't.
Why couldn't I? Because it's part of my workflow.
November is the month where I try to work through a story to see how it goes. I mean, I don't do this exclusively in November—I write all year round, and sometimes I just start writing something to see what I think of it—but what makes NaNoWriMo useful, for me, is the 30 day, 50K word goal. It forces me to keep working on an idea even after I get tired of it, to see if I can get excited about it again. November is the month when I fall in love with a story, all out of love with the story, fall back in love with the story, and at the end of it all I try to assess our relationship to see if it's worth continuing.
This will be my twelfth year. In the last eleven years I won seven times, but some of my losses were more useful—were, in the end, better relationships—than some of my wins. NaNoWriMo doesn't run on fairy magic—your content doesn't turn into a pumpkin when the clock strikes 12 midnight on November 30. Wins are nice, but stories are better.
With that in mind, let me show you a decade's worth of workflow: