If you've been reading along, I actually joined the NaNoWriMo site this year, and I'm committed publicly to writing 50K next month. But, you see, I've already been doing this in my own way for the past few Novembers anyway. Why?
My family probably thinks I'm crazy. Husband looks at me with gentle humor. Daughter asked me straight out why I was doing this. (And then added, "So I suppose this means no computer time for me next month.") So I had to ask myself why I NaNo...
The answer is partly because I think it's important to celebrate this occasion. Even if you don't do NaNo, if you're a writer, this is your month. I mean, it's hard enough doing this in solitude - with little to no cause for celebration. Having a whole month dedicated to writing novels? Well, it makes up for the long months of writing without a contract, I guess.
Another part is that writing is my job. NaNo is my way to preparing for the time when I actually have a book contract and I'm under deadline. If I can write 50K in November and have it be some kind of cogent story at the end, I know I can produce a book in whatever timeframe a contract would require. I'm hoping that by taking this month and using it as a faux-deadline, it'll alleviate some of the pressure beforehand. (Time will tell whether I'm right.)
And the rest? Well, I guess it's my way of proving - if only to myself - that I can do this. I can sit down every day and write an average of 1667 words. I can forgo television when I need to - even if it means missing Grey's Anatomy or NCIS or :gasp: football. I can prove to myself and maybe to the rest of the world that writing is that important to me - that this isn't a game or a hobby or a pastime. (Which writing can be mistaken for if you're unpublished and sometimes even when you are published.)
So, if you're on the fence and looking for a good reason to participate, I invite you to use a reason or two of mine. Jump on board and push yourself to write 50K next month. Or if you don't have time or the urge to actually participate, set a goal of your own and push to hit it. (Like say, 30K, or promise yourself to write for at least an hour a day, or commit to 500 words a day. Whatever works for you.)
One way or another, celebrate National Novel Writing Month, because as a writer, you've earned it. =o)