NaNoWriMo - national novel writing month - begins November 1st.
Last October, writer Nobilis suggested trying the snowflake method of outlining as a way to prepare for the grueling month of writing ahead, so I tried it. It's an interesting exercise for a non-outliner (I could even say for someone hostile to the idea of outlining) to engage in. Would I do it again? Probably not, but I learned some useful stuff just by trying.
I tried other experiments outside my usual method of writing. Some were useful, some weren't.
While I hit the 50,000 word mark, the novel I produced wasn't useable. However, after the third rewrite, I now have The Devil's Concubine, and readers have a lot of good things to say about it.
So am I going to try again this year? No, but nothing about the experience was wasted. I learned how to write even when I didn't feel like it (here's when having an outline really helped. I didn't stare off into the distance as I tried to figure out what happened next. I'd already done that work in October). I learned how to distill my story down to one sentence. Hopefully, I learned how to write a decent synopsis. (I'll test that when I try to prep The Devil's Concubine submission package). I'd suggest it to anyone who ever wanted to try to write a novel. If anything, it teaches you to just write.