It turns out I can not only write 50,000 words in thirty days, I can write them in 20 days!
(Technically 22, because I didn't update my count as fast as I wrote, but what the heck.)
I even did a little editing as I went, because I do that. Participants in National Novel Writing Month are encouraged not to go back for anything: Just write straight through, get that first draft out! Worry about revising later. It's good advice, really. But my habit is, at the beginning of each writing session, to go back over the writing I did the day before. It puts me back in the zone, and I do a little cleanup along the way.
It must work for me, because the entire rough draft of my Oz novel is finished! 67,515 words in 26 days. It's nowhere near a record: I know one writer who hit 80,000 words in the first twenty days. It's possible they write full time, or were on COVID lockdown, or something similar. As for me, I had some time off to take in November, which certainly did help me along.
In the end it's not really about hitting a certain word count: It's to get that novel going, glue yourself to the keyboard and keep at it, although if you glued yourself to the keyboard you'd have to type the same letters over and over, so never mind.
In other words, if you're participating this year and have fallen behind, as many have, never mind. Just go on past November 30. Keep plugging away at it, and get that novel done.
And how am I going to celebrate? Easy:
Revision. Then editing. Then polishing. then submitting. That's how the game goes, and you only lose if you give up.