I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month three times before this year, and each time, I’ve had a different feeling on December 1. As a seventh grader taking on the famous challenge just three years ago, I felt overwhelmed with accomplishment and satisfaction that I had written my very first novel, and so I immediately headed to a free self-publisher to put my name in print. As an eighth grader in my second year, I felt that I had just barely won an intense battle with writer’s block and was much more proud of my own perseverance than in the words on the page. And in ninth grade, while I reached my word-count goal, I felt as if I had lost a poorly-fought battle, and was not nearly as excited about writing as two years prior.
The more I look back on my years of doing NaNoWriMo, the more I realize that no two NaNo experiences will ever be the same. Winners or losers, we’ve all won our own incredible experience.