A year ago, I started this blog as a way to keep track of my progress on my first novel. I completed the ending, about 12,000 words, in the first 12 days of NaNoWriMo. It was a thrill to finish a manuscript. Much has happened with it since then, and I continue to refine it. But I approached the idea of participating in NaNo this year with a completely different outlook. You might find this odd, but my idea was: it just doesn't matter what or how much I write.
Now, I will say I am working on a new novel, complete with an outline, and I am most definitely writing something that I intend to see published, but I am not pressuring myself in any way to get 'er done in a month. I think that is a grand idea, but I also know now: 1) what my process is like for getting a book finished; 2) what my process is for revising; 3) who I want to read it; and 4) what I will do with it once it's read.
In short, I'm feeling much more confident about who I am as a writer, which is not to say that I am totally convinced that my book will ever be published in the traditional way. It may not. I accept that. But I also know that what I've written has worth. It's a pretty cool story, and many people will end up reading it and enjoying it.
How it gets to the reader, well, that's another matter far afield from the actual writing. This month, I am loose to write again and worry about the rest later. And just like last time, it feels great.