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A friend of mine asked me if I had entered an essay and I was proud enough to say no, that I had joined the other NaNoWriMo writers this year.
Sure, I've joined in previous years, but I never got further than 5,000 words. So far, this year, I have a grand total of 31,000 words and the month isn't quite halfway over yet. I feel as thought I have already achieved something just by coming as far as I have.
It hasn't been always easy, though. I continually find myself in a dead end that I have to dig myself out of. Once I dig myself out, I'm alright for a while. What helps is that I challenge myself to beating the person in the rank above me during a days time. Next, I'll shoot for the one above that. So on and so forth.
I do have myself on a schedule, but I have found that it really hasn't been necessary. I tend to write more than needed during a given time.
Of course, I've been able to devote all of my time to this since I'm not in school nor have a job at the moment.