Granted, I just did it by 96 words, I did it in 12 days. Now, I can finally pack and travel knowing that I've gotten a first draft of my idea out.
What I learned:
Goals are good.
I have this thing that when I set a goal I always have to beat it somehow. For example, I set the goal of completing NaNo in 15, but secretly I had every intention of finishing it in less than 15 days. My goal was really 14, but I did it in 12.
I didn't need my notecards and an extensive outline to get to 50,000 words.
In the past I've labored over my cards and daily goals and having a determined path for my story. This year I let go of all of those ideas and embraced my skeleton outline and just kind of went for it. Compared to my previous drafts from NaNo 12 and NaNo 13, this years is not as polished. I made notes in italics throughout this draft with ideas I want to explore further and the areas that I think can be developed more deeply. The point of NaNo for me is to get my idea out there so I can see if it's worth pursuing further.
I do have to say I'm glad it's over. I'm eager to develop my other idea and I'm even having this crazy notion of getting idea 2 out in 50,000 in the remaining days of November...
Somebody stop me!