Daylight Falls books, and its importance in kicking me in the butt to get them done cannot be overstated.
Which isn't to say they were similar experiences - not at all. With Behind the Scenes, I went in with an incredibly detailed outline, won NaNo, kept writing, and finished the first draft a few weeks later. Almost nothing was cut from the original draft, though obviously changes were made. (The final version is actually 20K longer than that first draft.)
With Under the Lights, though, while I also wrote 50K in November, I A) did it with nothing but a bare bones beat sheet, B) promptly cut 20K of it, C) changed much of what remained, and D) didn't finish it until the end of March.
So, yeah, NaNo can go in a whole lot of different ways, even for a single author. But I love it, because I think it really strengthens two important things:
1) A habit of consistency
2) The skill of writing forward without editing along the way
(And yes, I'm doing it this year too - let's be friends!)
So what to do if you're struggling? Make sure you check out our other Writing Club Wednesday posts, which have suggestions for outlining, fast drafting, and more. You may also wanna read up on Rachel Aaron's infamous strategy for going from 2K a day to 10K, and of course, the NaNo website offers plenty of pep talks. And for the ultimate in inspiration, if my books don't do it for you, check out these other books that started during NaNo and went on to become bestsellers.
Good luck to everyone participating, and please, tell us about what you're writing in the comments!