My NaNoWriMo word count is 19945. I could have dashed off another 55 tonight to round it up to 20,000, but I was at the end of a scene and I'm tried. It seemed like a good place to stop. Besides, then I'll have the thrill (?!) of passing 20,000 as I work on it tomorrow.
So what have I learned so far? I know that the motto of NaNoWriMo is "No plot, no problem," but if I had gone into this without my outline, I'd have a couple thousand words at most. I never, ever thought I'd embrace the idea of an outline, but it's working very well for me. Every time I sit down to write, I know what scene I'll be working on and what needs to happen in it. Like most writers, I'm a master at procrastination, but with this outline, I can't fritter away my writing time. So it's efficient, and I still have plenty of space to be creative.
The other thing I've learned is how to keep forward momentum. I'm not editing or rewriting anything. Everything has to be new word count. So I'm saving all that for after I finish the first draft. Sure, it drives me nuts as there are things I'm itching to fix, but I'm moving ahead at a brisk pace. I also have to write every day. I had two low word count days when I worked on short stories that had to be submitted this month, but I at least manged 352 words one day and over 500 the next on my NaNoWriMo novel, so I got to update my total a bit. The discipline involved is good practice.
(oh, and I can't add this blog entry word count to my total. bummer)