I know, I know; it's only two and a half months late, but this evening I finally finished the novel I began in November. The final word count came in at just about 69,000 words, 50,000 of which were done in the first 25 days.
Why did it take so long? Who knows? The "magic" of NaNoWriMo, the energy that puts writing on the front burner and makes it a priority for 30 days certainly played a huge role. Once I had that Winner's Certificate the pressure was off. It was easier to make excuses not to write. Interestingly, I knew exactly how I was going to finish the story and what was going to happen; though of course when I actually sat down to it, it still went off on its own twists and turns. But the other big change is that once the word count didn't matter anymore -- once quality reasserted its ugly head as taking precedence over quantity -- it was harder to just hammer it out. That old evil "inner editor" came back with a vengeance. Why use that word? You can find a better way to say that. That just sounds stupid. Somehow during November, it was easier to banish him.
Even so, I finally finished it. Now I can get back to the really exciting novel I gave myself permission to put aside for the duration. In addition to being on the home stretch for that one too, it also gives me a chance to put this one aside for a while, so that when I go back to it in another month (cough*or three or four or six*cough) I can see it through fresh eyes for the ever-important editing, re-writing and polishing required before it goes anywhere else.
Nevertheless, I finally got to type the sweetest words any novelist every wrote: