Okay, I've had a couple of days away from it, so I think I can write about it. Hurrah for Dec 3! :)
National Novel Writing Month was intense for me for many reasons, and many of those reasons were writing-related without being NaNo-related.
First, I learned that I'm not superwoman (even if I want to be). I can't do everything. I'm grateful I'm not taking more classes this semester, because nothing would have gotten accomplished if I were.
Second, I leaned a lot about writing. I have a much deeper appreciation for an outline now (which I might not have realized without seeing Lynda's post). I was so anxious to start writing for NaNo in October that I had to do something, so I outlined and character sketched. Amazing things about my story and about my characters came to light through that process. And without that outline, in my situation only superwoman (see #1 above) could have finished with 50K by Nov 30.
Third, I learned that it's okay to give up. I know. I did make it to 50K, but if you look at my NaNo stats, there was over a week of inactivity once I reached about 12K. I had other projects for school that took a lot of time (see my end-of-November posts on "Never Truly Gone"), and I had to tell myself it was okay not to finish the NaNo novel. In fact, it wasn't until I reached 40K that I honestly thought I would make it. If I hadn't given myself permission to not win I probably would have been so wrapped up in my own personal anxiety-hell that I wouldn't have reached 25K.
Fourth, I learned I'm not a writing multi-tasker. Oh, man. When I have to juggle three different traditional stories and one graphic-novel-like project, I can't think about more than one at a time. And that's okay. I don't see myself in this position again (too often) when I have to think about all of them on one day. Granted, I could work on story A on Monday and story B on Tuesday and that would probably be okay, but when I have drafts of three different stories open on my computer at once, it's probably too much. Hopefully I won't have to do that again.
Finally, I realized that I can do this. Maybe I won't be the next writing superstar, but I have something in my head that needs to reach wider audiences. And I WANT to write. And I love it, despite all the hard work. And while editing isn't exactly my idea of fun evening in, I like that, too. I'm ready to take on the challenge of the industry and move from being a writer to an author.