That's right. The skies don't fall. The Red Sea isn't parted. Aliens don't invade Earth.
"But, but, but I feel awful!" you scream. "I only wrote 49,999 words! I am a failure!"
No. You are not a failure. You have a novel. Go finish it. Add that last word.
"But it's December!"
So the fuck what?
NaNoWriMo is not about hard and fast rules. It's not about torturing yourself. It's definitely not about finding new ways to make yourself miserable.
NaNoWriMo is about trying something new. Stretching your wings. Having some fun, for the love of [deity of your choice]!
"You're just saying that because you wrote 50,000 words," you say with a sneer.
No, I didn't. I made it about 5,000 words before real life interfered too much. I started November 1st, sitting in a hotel room that didn't even have a desk chair. A miserable cold had me in its talons, and the repairs on my car still weren't completed. Trust me, the rest of the month is a freaking blur. I sat down on Saturday, November 29th, looked around, and thought, "Screw it! I'm crocheting and watching movies."
What it comes down to is knowing when to lay down the hammer on your ass and when to ease up. After fifteen months of stress, my brain was fried. I struggled to type even a paragraph. Luckily, I have family and friends who have no problem telling me I'm being too hard on myself. So even though November is the official National Novel Writing Month, it really doesn't matter when you write.
I just matters that you write.