You'd think it gets easier with time. It doesn't. Still hard. However, it seems one eventually gets better at managing that particular kind of hard, which is nice.
On the other hand, my work patterns have shifted drastically. I used to find my most productive hours between midnight and 2am. This year I barely got any work at all done during those short limp evenings. On the other hand, the lunch breaks at work and especially the train commute -- and on that note I must once more give my tiny crappy cheapo netbook a heartfelt kiss of true love -- were when most of the work got done.
Although it's great that the often troublesome commute could be put to good use there, this new working habit is not necessarily good news, because keeping the work going into December would be a lot easier if it didn't involve having to lug around a piece of hardware -- breakable, stealable hardware.
On that note: yes, I've been trying to keep working on this. That's step two of NaNo. Winning the 50,000 words thing is only step one, and though by no means a trifle, if you manage to find the right shape and length for the crowbar to keep prying the words loose from your brain, it... sort of happens on its own, little by little. But that's a far cry from a completed novel.
Ideally the month's output would result in a near complete work, editing and revisions notwithstanding. I came way short. On the last week I was barely in sight of the Big Event upon which the plot revolves. This, for two reasons, I think. One: I went for third person limited perspective, with one character viewpoint per chapter. So only the plot points concerning a given character can advance during each individual chapter. Two: more importantly, I flail a lot and am constantly worried I'll run out of ideas, so when I come up with one, I milk for as many words as possible. And meanwhile the plot doesn't progress. Feh.
On the last week, within sight of the artificial goalpost yet still not very far into the story, I started writing only chapter outlines until I got to the Big Event, and then added the words "END OF TOME ONE". So there. Mishun accumplisht. Obviously this is not very satisfying. So, yeah, I won and I'm a bit disappointed. :) Never happy. I know.
What I really, seriously need to do if I intend to get something worthwhile out of a month of NaNo, now, is have an outline ready by the end of October. A NaNoOuMo. (What a mouthful.) Note to self: if there's a NaNo 2011 for me, it should freaking start in October.
On the plus side, I'm not burnt out from writing, like last year, which is very positive. I'm still brimming with creative energy that I don't know how to fit within those short limp evenings. So instead I've been helping a friend revise and edit the query for her novel and I've enjoyed doing it. So there's that.