On this date two years ago, I signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. The idea was exciting: write 50,000 in 30 days. A big taking for a student taking 15 credit hours and working 35 hours of retail, but I had a sudden burst of energy and a novel idea. (Bad pun, I know. I couldn’t help myself.) Two weeks and 11,000 words later, I was fried. I never made it to 50,000 words and, therefore, didn’t “win” NaNoWriMo in 2009.

Last year, I tried again. I started with a new idea. Well, three to be exact. On the first day, I wrote 5,000 words. Unfortunately, that number was split between the three different ideas. The story I went with only had 1,500. And three days later, at 3,600 words, life got busy. I was engaged and working a new job. I didn’t write another word in that story until January. I didn’t win NaNoWriMo in 2010.

This year, I’m giving NaNoWriMo another try. I’ve got a new story idea that —shh!!!—I’ve already started writing for. I’m feeling energy, and I’m using some new tools (Celtx and OmmWriter) to get me past distractions and writer’s block. I’m even going to see if I can’t stretch myself to get to some of the Chicago write-ins (where NaNoWriMo participants get together to work on their novels in the same place). I’m even planning on blogging updates as a way of taking a break from novel writing while still getting some writing done.

If you want to see details on my novel or follow my progress, check out my NaNoWriMo participant page. Because this is going to be the year I win NaNoWriMo.