I have a confession to make.
I have never actually finished any writing of any length. I have countless short stories that I have finished but they were written between the ages of about ten and twenty. They are not the most edifying of things. After I finished my degree, well, I haven't really been in a place where writing short stories would work. In that, well, those stories were... bad.
So, in 2006, after much fruitless furtling about trying to write an actual first draft of anything, I tried my hand at NaNo. I wrote 85,000 words plus about 21,000 words that I deemed unfit to be in the final project. But it was not a novel. It was unfinished and I had no real idea where I was going with it all. Anastasia may or may not have had imaginary friends and may or may not have had her memories altered by some shadowy government agency (or not) for some reason. My plotting remained as amorphous as that. 8,000 words were devoted, in one instance, to her waking up routine.
In 2007 I tried again, but got about 12,000 words in before the lack of plot killed me and the lack of characters became a major issue. 2008 was two projects, both very boring with no plot and no real attempts at characterisation. In 2009 I actually wrote something that had been fulminating since 2007 and got about 26,000 words done. However, despite having a much more vibrant setting than I was used to and some actual real characters I still had no plot for them to live. As a consequence it remains totally unfinished because I have no clue what's supposed to happen there (that is, what I fill that vibrant setting with). In 2010 I tried the same setting. Again the lack of plot killed it at around 18,000 words. In 2011 real life prevented any writing at all for most of the year as I struggled with my day-job and the day-job won.
Now, this year is different. No, I haven't finished the novel at all. However, I know where it is going. I have a character and a plot that live and a setting, though not as vibrant and real as the one from 2009, that will stand the story I want to tell there. And I do want to tell that story. I am maybe half way through that story, I don't know (the war that takes up so much of this year's project was planned to be a short three or four vignettes, so about 4,000 words, and is currently about 38,000 words), but I feel happier with this than any of the rest of my projects.
Why the wall of text? I told my mother that I "won NaNo" and, after explaining it to her (again), she replied "Well, you never finish anything, do you?" Thanks, Mum. My father was interested until I explained that there was no judging and then sort of let it drop.
I have a reputation, you see. :)