If you didn't write 50K this month, you still started. That's more than most people can say. So many people sign up and don't even start writing. By writing even one word, you wrote more than so many participants did. Whether your product's going to be finished or destroyed after November, you're still a winner, even without the delicious purple bar and certificate.
For those who did write 50K, congratulations! You spearheaded real life in the face to write a novel. Fifty thousand words. Sure, it may be crap, but it's your crap. And it's beautiful crap. If you're not finished with it yet, then I hope the finishing process goes well. If you're finished and don't want to touch it again, then at least make the deletion or burning a ritual process.
Now if you're planning to edit, we have a long road ahead of us--a long and winding road of mountains, valleys, and characters waiting to greet us. I plan on rewriting mine as well, especially since I avoided description altogether and wrote mostly dialogue and just enough description to tell me where I was going when I rewrote the thing. So my novel is definitely going to get a lot longer than the current draft.
And now for what you've all been waiting for. NaNoWriMo 2006 memories.
* Appearing on WriMoRadio
* The kickoff party, in which I was the only college student there but still persisted and had a great time. We're all Wrimos; that's what matters.
* Write-ins: caffeine, novelists, laptops, and Java Monkey. What more could you ask for? Also, that one afternoon when I wrote 3000 words by hand in three hours because I was out that afternoon and forgot Lappy (this was clearly pre-Yoshi).
* Meeting my fellow Atlanta Wrimos (several of whom I remembered from last year) and cheering each other on as we reached our goals
* Atlanta's racing to get in the top 20 region word count. (We finished at #19! Yay!)
* Pulling plot points from the middle of nowhere when I didn't know what was going to happen next. The joy, the sorrow, and the suspense that my characters went through as other characters revealed stuff to them.
* That one afternoon where I wrote 600 words because I just couldn't figure out the impact of a punch on a nose. Yes, I know about a broken nose, but how bad? I still reached my word count that day, though. After that I just wrote freely.
* Word wars and all the word war chat rooms that I frequented. I have them to thank for finishing on Day 16.
* Watching my blue bar rise, turn green, and finally purple emblazoned with "WINNER!" when I verified.
* Scrambling my novel and turning half the alphabet to z because I'm paranoid, then cracking up because my novel probably would put anyone to sleep.
* Telling everyone my word count and the progress on my novel when they asked how I was.
* Forums! Old classics like Word association, The Lounge, Thread Killer, ^ < v, Counting to 50,000, Corrupted Wish Game, and Liar's Ball, and new ones like Useless Powers Game, Last Post Thread, and In a Steel Cage of Doom!
* Maintaining my top-five post count despite my near-absence from the forums in November (I'm #4 right now, but I'll probably never catch Skye, even by next September. Oh well).
* Getting actual e-mails from Chris and Tavia of NaNoWriMo. Wow.
* Realizing that NaNoWriMo was in dire straits during the last few days of November and putting a link to the donation store in my sig, figuring that I posted enough and enough people would see it to be encouraged to donate. (NaNo's safe now! Whew.)
* And finally, realizing that as crazy as NaNoWriMo is, that I'm not the only crazy person out there. Only my own death will keep me from coming back next year.