I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. ::DOUGLAS ADAMS::
This November I've been participating in NaNoWriMo. It's my third attempt--the first time I did it, I hit the 50,000 word goal and then some. But by the end of the month, that project was a snarled mess that I abandoned entirely once I realized I had 40+ tabs open in Safari, one of which was a Google Translate page displaying phonetic pronunciation of the Russian word for landlord, but no actual idea what I was going to do with the plot. On my second attempt, I didn't get very far at all. This time I was feeling pretty good; I had an outline and a premise I was excited about. What could go wrong?
Well, it's November 27, and I am around 33,000 words in. Still excited about this story, but I think I have to make my peace with the fact that I'm not going to hit 50,000 words by Saturday. And it's okay. This year, it's more important to me that I wind up with a project I love than merely hitting a number. I've also experimented with writing in the mornings before my real-world job for the first time ever and was surprised to find that it actually works for me (needless to say, I'm not a morning person). But the thing I love most about NaNoWriMo is how it made me get started in the first place.