I did it. I finally made it to "The End," at 65,911 words, and with a day to spare.
This year's NaNo has been just brutal. I started off pretty strong, then got hit by the second week slump. Never completely recovered from that. I had some days that were better than others, some scenes that were better than others, even a few happy accidents along the way, which are always my favorite part of writing. But on the whole, it's been a pretty miserable process.
I never really got into my story. I realized early on that my main character was the only one even remotely developed. I thought I could just throw in random dares and characters and subplots from the forums, but for whatever reason I couldn't make myself do it (my argument was "none of it makes sense with my story" but I knew that would be the case going in, so I don't know what happened there), so I just had the barest bones of a plot, without any whimsical adventures to fill it in. I asked myself SO many times why I was still writing.
But . . . isn't overcoming these struggles what NaNo is about? It's not supposed to be easy. Fun, yes, but not easy. Attainable, yes, but not easy. It's supposed to be a challenge. It's something you do to prove to yourself that you can. I've been lucky so far. This year, I feel like I'm paying back taxes on my previous NaNo's. NOW I get it. I finally got the "real" NaNoWriMo experience everyone always talks about. Or at least one of them. I know there are plenty of other struggles I haven't faced. But at least I'm no longer in the "50K is EASY!" club. Believe me, if I wasn't so stubborn about getting it done, I would have given up on this novel LONG before getting there.
As for the novel itself . . . well, there might a story in there somewhere that's worth telling. Some day I might even go looking for it.