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Have you ever been “done” with research only to find that you are just getting started? Over the past few months I’ve read several books (two of them around the 500 page mark) and watched about 30 hours of documentaries on various historical aspects of the time periods my WIP covers (or will cover if I ever get done researching). I felt I was done.

Then I went out to dinner with my friend Valerie.

While waiting to be seated at a restaurant, we wandered over to Schuler Books & Music and perused the used book section, where I found (with her pernicious help) two more l-o-n-g books to read as background research. Mind you, I was not looking for these books. They were looking for me. Nothing from these books will actually end up in my novel, as the time periods they describe are not covered in my story, but the background knowledge they promise to provide is really essential for understanding some socioeconomic and cultural realities in a particular place and time that will be covered in the book.

All this to say, I’m not ready to write as gung-ho as I would have to be in order to do NaNoWriMo. Beyond that, I have not been able to finish November’s short story this week as I had hoped, so I will have that to do next month as well. Releasing myself from NaNoWriMo madness also allows me to work on that nonfiction book about intentional writing I mentioned. So I’ll still be writing, I’ll just be switching the order that I work on two of my projects.

In addition to that, I will be a contributing editor to the Women’s Fiction Writers Association‘s newsletter and I’ve been asked to prepare a feature article for their first issue. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to reach out to other writers beyond those of you who read this blog through my involvement with WFWA and through the writing book (which I hope to release in January now).

So the plan for the rest of 2013 will be to finish up my last two short stories, finish my nonfiction book for writers, start writing and editing for WFWA, and really finish my research. And that is plenty for just two months. In January, once the writing book is released, I’ll work on formatting my collection of short stories for a print edition for all you non-techies. And then, once those other items are off my plate, I will have the time and mental energy to devote every free moment of writing time to my novel.

So that’s how my year is wrapping up. What about you? What do you want to finish before 2014 rolls around? Tomorrow begins a new month. Thirty days to work toward the finish line of whatever goal you have right now. What are you going to do with the time you have?