I've been writing fiction since I was six years old but I never finished a novel until 2007, when I joined National Novel Writing Month.
I know. November is the WORST month to have NaNoWriMo.
It's the height of college application season for Wise Child. Yet every year, no matter what is happening in my life, either I make time for NaNo or the Universe does it for me:
2008: The Wall Street crash shut down the investment banking firm I assisted part-time at and I finished my first novel ever - about an investment banker who really wanted to be a journalist.
2009: Miserable and sick, I dropped out of a grueling journalism masters - giving up a full Chancellor's scholarship - just in time to draft my second novel, a Greek myth comedy about a half-nymph who destroyed Olympus.
2010: After a car accident in October, my company let me work from home for 2 months - and I was able to draft my third novel, a historical fantasy.
The lesson? If you want to avoid a financial meltdown, a bronchial infection and failed masters degree, and vehicular injury, then join me in NaNoWriMo.
No excuses. No matter what.