I failed NaNoWriMo this year. I got a good start, then had to take five days off for DC, and a couple more here and there, and before long I realized I had to make a choice between "winning" NaNo, and getting enough sleep to be functional human being. Call me a bad novelist. Perhaps success will continue to elude me until I become a zombie-fied, coffee-addicted, over-dramatic hermit. But it's okay. There will be time for writing. Something tells me it would be far more prudent to develop the discipline to write during months other than November - which I have yet to get very far with. I'm blaming facebook.
But you know what? I'm glad I failed. It meant I got the chance to travel and spend time with some awesome people - it meant I had the time to read and study other books besides my own - it meant my other work wasn't as rushed as it would have been otherwise. It meant I got sleep. It meant I actually talked to people this month, rather than retreating further into my shell.
I won NaNo last year, and all I have is 50,000 words of unedited fiction. I love the characters - it wasn't a total waste, and it gave me good experience on scene-writing. But it's still just laying there. If I'm ever going to do something with it, I'll need to develop more of a routine.
This year's novel is stuck in the middle of the discouraged, seeking, self-absorbed brain of its main character. If getting out of that early meant that that wasn't the case for my own brain, then yes, I'm glad I failed. I hope to always continue failing at my own projects if they only lead me more into the dead shell of myself. There's much more on the other side!