Things have been steadily moving forward with my current novel project. I'm getting the outline to the point where it almost writes itself, which is exactly where it needs to be.
This is the time where I decide if I want to officially try to "win" at NaNoWriMo this year. I'm of course thinking about how all the horrible fanfic and chick-lit authors will swarm the NaNo boards and discussions, talking about stuff I'm not the least bit interested in. I don't have to participate, of course, but that takes some of the fun out of it.
I am noticing that more and more writers are foregoing the whole "story" idea and just writing mush. As I've written previously, I have issues with contrived stories that lack focus... I ought to know, I wrote one!
But that's neither here nor there. What other people write doesn't necessarily affect my story. But trying to "win" NaNoWriMo seems about as useful as winning a Hugo award now. What's the point? Does it really mean anything? I've proven I can write 1667 words a day for thirty days. Does that make me a better writer? Not at all.
Still, it might be nice to have a new "2015 Winner" banner on my sidebar, so I'll submit my writing next month and see if it reaches the word count. But ultimately, it won't affect my writing, or my story.
If I'm going to be serious about writing professionally, I need to be writing 2000+ words a day *every single day of the year*, or close to it, except for vacations. You become a better writer by writing, so one month a year isn't going to mean a hill of beans to me.
If you're aspiring to be a "real" writer, then you need to adopt the same mindset. Writers write. And you get better with practice, so what do you do? Write plenty, and often. There's lots to learn about crafting a good story, but really, there's no "special sauce" to being creative. You put pen to paper and write.
An excellent article on this was written by Brett McKay of The Art Of Manliness:
What this means for me is that I need to write plenty, and often. If I hit 50K words in 30 days, I get a cool sticker, nothing more.