If anything the National Novel Writing Month taught me was the value of deadlines. So many writers I know promise themselves they will finish their books soon, get that article completed and then submitted, or edit their manuscripts in a time frame that never arrives.
I think it helps to understand that publishing a novel takes time in the form of rewrites, editing, more rewrites, and then the arduous process of submission and rejection. Such endeavors can take months if not years.
One tip that I’ve tucked away that bolsters my want to see my words in print is this; The novel needs to be written to be published. Oh yeah, sure, such a tip seems pretty self evident doesn’t it? But how often to meet the writer who has a number of manuscripts ‘in the works’ and none of which get done? How about the writer who spends years on one story, never quite polishing the plot enough to submit it somewhere?
I must admit, I’m one of those people. I’m published online and even got paid for it. A novel though? Nope, not yet. It will happen this coming year. <shakes fist to the sky>
What are your deadlines you’ve set for yourself?