How it Went: I started off strong during the first week. I had a magazine production deadline that hit the second week of November so I tried to make sure I was on track before that started. As I suspected, I fell behind during the third week and only had 20,000 words written towards my goal. During the week of Thanksgiving I had some volunteer obligations at my children's school and out-of-town guests one night, but I still managed to catch up by avoiding Black Friday shopping and writing for several hours on Saturday, Nov. 29. The result? I finished at just a over 50,000 words on Nov. 29--a day ahead of schedule! I really don't know how I did it. I started this book with a general plot outlined in my head and not much else. I knew how the book would start and how it would end. The rest, I had to come up with as I went along. Not the best way to write a novel, I know. But I'm proud nonetheless. I have a beginning, middle, and end, and as one friend pointed out to me, "at least you'll have a pile of pages to work with instead of a big pile of nothing!"
In the past three years I've written two YA novels and one MG that needs to be revised yet again. But you know what? I am glad I took the time to write them before beginning a full-fledged submissions process. I have learned so much about the craft and feel much more excited about the quality of work I'm producing now. I hope everyone else thinks so too when the time comes.