NaNo was a huge breakthrough for me. Way way back when I started writing an actual novel, I wrote 2k a day, because Stephen King said I was supposed to. Then I quit writing for a long time and lost sight of my goals. The Dragongar books took 9 months to write, each. Shudder! For NaNo, I decided it was time to get serious. Please note the serious bold face type! And I wanted that sucker out to agents in 2010. I put myself on a 2k a day regimen and got 'er done! For myself, the way to finish books is to set goals and be held accountable.
A lot of writers post their weekly goals on their blogs. I, however, have only the mental where-withal to work on one project at a time. Not that I don't make goals, I do! Bare minimum is 2k a day on the novel in progress. My other goal is to write EVERYDAY! If I take a day off, I increase my goal the next day or couple of days to catch up. I have also taken the challenge to increase my goals on the weekend and Fridays to 3k. The result? It's the first week of January, and I've got more than 20K!
As for being accountable, I have several ways of doing this. On AW, I've got the JaNoWriMo, Anyone thread. The point is to go on everyday, talk about your word count, problems, epic fails or epic wins. There is also the 2010 Weekend Progress Report Thread. You can get shinies for reporting your doin's for the week! :) There is the JaNoWriMo board. I also use a calendar where I write my daily progress: total word count, word count for the day and what page I'm at. This seems like a lot - I tend to go all out when I get somethin' in my little noggin. I find it keeps me excited and I have to be accountable, to myself. I also update my signature with my word count. I love watchin' that thing as it goes up.
What about you? How do you get novels done? Do you set goals? Do you have somewhere (a board or blog) or something (a calendar, a word ticker) you use to hold yourself accountable?