I finished my novel!
I started thinking about it seriously last May (2009), making notes and character sketches and a vague plot outline. I intended to start writing right away, but couldn't find the internal fortitude to take that intimidating first step. Then I decided Nanowrimo would provide the butt-kicking that I required, and I started actually writing on November 1. By November 30, I was 50,000 words in.
And apparently overwhelmed and burned out, because I basically couldn't write anything for months afterward, despite obsessing about the novel. In June I finally got back to work, and now here I am, at just over 70,000 words, at THE END.
I am simultaneously really proud of myself, and excited to get going with editing/revising, and also extremely sad. It's surprised me, but I've walked around for the past couple of days feeling positively bereft, and a little weepy. These characters have been walking around in my head for over a year, and I miss them!
I've decided to skip Nanowrimo this year, even though I was looking forward to it and had already started planning a new novel, because I just can't stand the thought of pushing my current work in progress aside, even for a month. I'm going to print out the whole thing -- first sentence to last sentence -- and start revising.
But, I did it! I feel like I can now officially call myself a writer. I'm a novelist. Yay, me!