The difference between November of 2010 and November of 2009 was preparation. I mean this in the biggest way possible. I FORGOT ABOUT NANOWRIMO WHEN IT STARTED IN 2009. I totally forgot, so I didn’t do it, even though they encouraged you to try, even if you were late. I don’t even remember the idea I had for that NaNo.

In 2010, I was sitting around on a Sunday (probably in between the sessions of General Conference) and I had the fleeting thought that November started in a month and that maybe I should think of an idea. I originally based my novel on a dream that I had, though, after I finished preparing it, it was extremely different, but almost similar.

For the first half of the month of October, more out of boredom than anything else, I started jotting down ideas that I had. The second half of the month, my story began to take shape and seem actually possible. Having been a failure for my whole life as a writer, I got pretty excited and more than a little obsessed with the idea that I could actually finish a novel if I wanted to (Sounds dumb, but this was a foreign idea to me at the time). Becoming obsessed in advance was one of the things that carried me through November.

The last week of October, I had filled out a billion character charts and sheets and I’d completely mapped out every scene of my novel, except for the end. I knew my story so well, that I dared have a tiny shred of confidence (until the night before November actually started. I was pretty nervous and I couldn’t sleep. I was scared out of my mind).

I don’t really remember much about November except for that it was easy and hard at the same time. It was easy because I was so prepared that I knew exactly what was going to happen. I even had some of the wording ready to use. It was hard because it consumed every second of my time. I went to school in the morning and wrote as furiously as I possibly could until school started. I was so obsessed with this that I had to stop myself from not paying attention in Seminary so that I could write. The only class that I had a problem in was Human Biology. It’s not that I neglected my work, it’s that I put it off because my novel was my number one priority all month. Mr. Cox was NOT okay with me writing while we were watching movies (that I’d already seen, might I add) or coloring diagrams (lame)(I also recall him being the only teacher in all of Intermediate school that ever gave me a “green slip” which I ended up getting out of because Mrs. Lynch thought that I looked innocent enough…. okay, she didn’t say that, but she said that I sounded pretty sorry and that if I stayed out of her office for fifteen days, she’d just throw the green slip away….. YEAH!…… I don’t even remember what it was for… whatever).

Of course, during Orchestra it was impossible for me to write during class. Plus, Miss Dunn outlawed books and homework during rehearsal. Anyway, the rest of my day probably doesn’t matter (I’m too lazy to type it), but the point is that I took my NaNo binder with me EVERYWHERE. I didn’t put it in my backpack, I carried it in my arms. Even when I had to set it down and concentrate on something else, it was still a presence in the back of my mind (cliche) and I thought about it a lot.

On the bus when I couldn’t write, I familiarized myself with the next spot I was going to write. I played it out in my head, imagined dialogue, talked to myself. When I got home, I locked myself in my room (Not really, my bedroom door has no lock) and I continued to write until eleven or twelve. Then, the next morning I would start again. I only had one moment of real writer’s block during the whole month and even that only lasted about a half an hour, so it was fine. This was able to come about because of how well prepared I was.

The writing part of it was fun, that’s why I do it. I liked the imagining and the planning (see Paper Towns for awesomeness surrounding the idea of the fun being in the planning of a thing). I REALLY liked the finishing at the end (new experience). I liked the weaving of the story. I really liked NaNoWriMo.

So, doing it again for my June NaNoWriMo should be easy, right? Not in million years. I’m not as prepared, I’ve failed to write two novels since November and I’m even more ready to fail again. Of course, I’m not going to let this stop me, but it might keep me from succeeding, seeing as I keep hesitating. I need that confidence and I need that obsessiveness. This is going to be…