So. I just signed up for NaNoWriMo, despite my having always shied away from it in the past. Frankly, it's darned intimidating. Years ago, I wrote about 35,000 words on my current novel and have barely touched it since. On the one hand, I've never written lots of words in short bursts. On the other, my novel will never be done at this rate. Recently I sat down to work on it and wrote only one line, for goodness' sake. The current word count is 36,800, or about half the length of my first three novels.
It's not clear if NaNoWriMo is right for me, but November will be a good month to glue my butt to the chair and crank out the rest of the first draft. Was it the great Lawrence Block who wrote that the best guideline for getting writing done was "ass in chair"? It was either him or someone else--how's that for narrowing it down? It will be okay to write a crappy first draft, by the way. At least for me, second drafts are much easier because there is something to work with. It's getting past the terror of the blank page, because words I can see are easier to fix that words I can't see. And waiting one more year won't work, because 2012 will be busy in other ways. I'll always be able to fit revisions.
Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? How well has it worked for you?