This year I entered the NaNoWriMo competition with the assumption that once again, I would walk away victorious, waving that awesome certificate above my head like the trophy that it is. After all, I've already entered and won the past two years as well as JuNoWriMo. I'm a natural at this, right? 
I only wrote a measly little 27,000-plus words this time around, and it's not like I didn't try. I really did. And I even had the pleasure of my daughter and best friend joining me for the first time ever, doing word sprints with my daughter along the way. And I still did not make the cut.
But it's okay, because I know exactly what went wrong for me, and it's a mistake I won't ever repeat, because I fully intend to win next time around. 
I'm talking about my writing strategy here: this year I decided to try something different and became a total Pantser.
First of all, if you know me personally, you know what an OCD maniac I am, that I have to live in a structured environment where I know what's happening  when and how it will be accomplished. I have calendars and sticky notes to remind me of everything, timers on my phone. I am not a Pantser in real life and now I have come to the realization that I will never be a literary one, either. 
I'll definitely be going into the 2014 NaNoWriMo competition with my literary pants securely attached to an outline, a chapter by chapter play schedule and with all my ducks in a row. With notes hanging from their skinny little necks.
Until then, a big round of congrats to my fellow NaNoWriMos for all the effort - whether you were on the winner's end of the experience or not, you deserve a round of applesauce, as my mother would say. 
I'd hoped to win this year, not gonna lie. Actually, I already bought the frame and cleared a spot on my office wall right next to last year's certificate, but whatevs. Next year's certificate will go in that spot.
Until next week, keep those pencils sharpened and keep on writing!