In fact, that's oh, so wrong. Kicking back is exactly what I did last year. I didn't start another novel until March, because I normally dedicate the end of December and all of January to a thorough market research to find matches for the manuscripts I currently have finished. (These are all picture books, which are tough though not impossible to sell right now.) Then I spent February making scene cards for my 2010 novel and the rest of the year writing the book.
The thing is, this year's Nanonovel was written for someone as a Christmas gift, and Christmas comes on December 25th. Therefore, I can't kick back, because I don't plan to give them an entirely rough draft. It won't be the best it can be, of course, but a few of the glaring problems will be addressed. This year, the only kicking back I did was to take a couple of days off to read two of John Flanagan's books, Erak's Ransom and The Kings of Clonmel, because I wanted to put some mental distance between me and the manuscript. That was all I could spare.
So now to rewrite. I'm guessing that if I can polish up a couple of chapters a day, I should finish in time to print, wrap, and hide it under the tree. I didn't have a good ending, so after praying about it for awhile, I came up with a happy solution. (Well, gee, if God could get the entire Bible written, helping me with my books ought to be a piece of cake.) This was good news to the first of the beta readers, who plowed through the manuscript and was none to pleased to find out there were several possible and unfinished endings. This is my bad habit for Nanonovels. I tend to complete the word count but not the story. Very frustrating to readers. Sorry.