1. I am actually able to succeed at writing over fifty thousand words in thirty days (it was actually 50,286 for those of you keeping score at home), and have those words come out resembling something amazingly like a novel.
2. It is not necessarily possible to write over fifty thousand words in thirty days AND keep one's house clean AND talk to one's extended family with any regularity. Or at all. As a matter of fact, one's spouse and pets should consider themselves lucky they got any face time during this month. (Take that in whatever way you feel most comfortable.)
3. Finishing a novel under the deadline and actually sort of liking what came out of your brain tends to make you a bit emotional. If you've ever seen people fall on the ground and cry after a marathon... this is kind of like that, only I smell better. I think.
4. When you write a novel, the characters become sort of like your children. You're really protective of them, and even though at the start of the whole thing you imagined yourself sending copies to everyone you know, by the time you finish you're crossing people off the list right and left, because they just might not possess the right degree of sensitivity that your characters require.
5. When you write a novel, the characters become sort of like your lovers. They occupy your mind all the time, even when you'd swear you weren't thinking about them. They can infuriate, exasperate, and terrorize you, and then turn around and have you swooning in a matter of pages.
6. Sometimes the writers block that seems insurmountable is as easily decimated as changing the sex of one character. I began this day two thousand words behind the eight-ball. I banged my head against the proverbial wall for hours, trying to locate a place in the story where I could insert two thousand words without completely throwing the story off course, which would require a few thousand more words to rectify. By merely changing the sex of one of the characters, an entirely new offshoot of the story developed, enabling me to write most of those two thousand words without any strain on the grey matter whatsoever.
7. When you're up against it and only have four hundred or so words to go, and you've absolutely put every last thing into the story that you want.... write a prologue! It's still part of the novel, and it affords you the liberty of saying what's on your mind without having to fit it to a character. JUST DO IT.
Without sounding like I'm patting myself on the back, which I totally and completely AM... I'd just like to say this:
I DID IT!!!
For any of you who are remotely interested, here's a teaser - the "cover" I designed, complete with title, but sans nom de author.