“Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.” — Bill Cosby

It might be hard for other people to stop you, but surprisingly easily for us to stop ourselves. I’ve got a short story which should have been finished Monday. It’s finally going to be finished today. Why? Because I let other things get in the way. But once it’s gone, I can get back to the business of my current project that I want to get into submission early in 2011. Yes, it’s another NaNo I’m not doing according to the rules, but the writing is the important things. And I’m learning some things about my patterns and the roadblocks I put up in front of myself — and what stimulus I need to keep me writing.

I knew the lesson this year was going to be about self-discovery; that became clear to me at the end of September when I read Elizabeth Boyle’s post about “the plan” over on Romance University. The plan is how she tracks her writing and while it’s not an exact fit for me (what technique ever is?), there were a number of things to take away from it, such as the fact I over estimate how much I can get done in a set amount of time. I remember the time I wrote, edited and submitted a 7,200 word story in the course of twenty-four hours — but I then forget I didn’t write for a week. I take on new projects that I figure won’t take very long, which then take much longer (glares at story that needs to be finished).

I’m the one who needs to say no, who needs to learn when I’m overloading my plate, because the only one who’s stopping me is myself.