I reached the seven thousand-word mark last night, as weariness pulled me away from my computer. After so many years having fun with National Novel Writing Month, I am conscious of a few personal habits. I’m always fast out of the gate in word count but tend to slow down by mid-November. I am terrible at procrastination. My plot line starts to unravel at 30,000 words. Despite writing so many notes, I forget to read them. I start to hate the characters and I’m pretty sure the characters hate me. And there are five empty glasses and coffee mugs beside my desk. Trips to the bathroom are great opportunities to get your act together! It’s important to take breaks from time to time. Exercise. Do the dishes. Play with the cat. Talk to your spouse and let her know you’re not dead at the keyboard. Onward and upward! Forty-three thousand words to go!