I've had a couple months to think about this now so here goes...
This is the untold story. The one no one talks about. All through October, it's nothing but "Didn't such and such published author write XXX during nano?" It's all sunshine and rainbows until November ninth rolls around and many people lose steam and try to forget their infant novel was ever conceived.
This was my fifth year doing Nanowrimo and the first year I failed (meaning I didn't reach the 50,000-word mark). I actually only made it to word number 10,463. EPIC #FAIL. Or was it? These are the reasons I failed and I'm totally ok with it:
1. I love my 10,463 words
I adore my characters, I love where my story is heading and nano gave me the jumpstart I needed to get the ball rolling. I have over 10,000 words I didn't have before. So there!
2. I wasn't done plotting
Let's face it, part of the reason I stopped is because my outline wasn't complete. I need direction before I can get more words on the page or my story will be shot and possibly unrepairable. I'm not really into writing words just to write them. I need to know where I'm going.
3. I had a 2-month-old baby
This sounds like an excuse, but it's more of just a reality check. Having a newborn makes time management tough. My daughter needed me to bond more than I needed to write a book. She'll never be 2 months old again and I have no regrets.
Basically, I might have failed at Nanowrimo, but I'm not a failure. I didn't just slack off. The timing wasn't right this year. If it wasn't your year either, it's ok. It really is. It wasn't as if I didn't accomplish anything. I wrote some words, got inspired and I'll be back when I'm ready. And I'm 100% ok with that.
Did you ever try and fail Nanowrimo?