I first signed up for NaNoWriMo in 2004. The first time I won, I cheated a little and used something I already started, changed it and finished it. I won again in 2008, I think. That was a new story. I don't think I ever finished it. But I had proof that I COULD do it.
I've "grown up" since then and realized that I have what it takes to write a novel. Like really write one. Start to finish. I can proofread. I can edit. I am finally at the point where I can recognize errors and weird little quirks in my writing. My blog posts might not reflect it, but my novels do. It's quite a feeling.
So what I learned, and really came to believe, this November is that I can totally do it. It's hard work, but I CAN DO IT. The one thing I don't like is how they make you believe that you have to hide away in a closet with your computer to make it work. I work 40 hours a week and every other Saturday. I have a husband who refuses to cook his own meals and two kids that require a lot of attention. So my dishes weren't done every day and we ate a lot of leftovers. The floors may have been vacuumed once or twice. I still went to work. I wrote on my breaks and lunches. I wrote when the kids finally went to bed. I stayed up late. If it hadn't been for the extra couple of days off at Thanksgiving, I might not have finished. But I did it.
And I will probably be able to do it again. All I have to do is keep bugeting my time. And coming up with stellar ideas. And it wouldn't hurt to sign with an agent. That's my next goal. Pretty lofty, huh? My head got all big from that NaNo win this year :-)