One of the most fascinating things about being a writer is the fact that no two people do the job the same way. Sometimes I don't even write two stories the same way. Over the years, I've accumulated a lot of different tips, tricks, and techniques to keep the writing going and get the words on the page. NaNoWriMo is one such technique. The rules are at the NaNo site, but the short-short version is that you try your damnedest to log 50,000 words in thirty days. This translates out to about 1667 words a day, if you write every day.
Some days, that's a number I blow past by ten AM. Other days, like today, it's getting on to bath time for my kids, and I've barely logged a hundred words and if I want to keep on, I'm going to be burning the midnight oil to make it.
When I analyze it, the two biggest benefits of NaNo-ing I get are the significant word count, and the bare-bones of a rough draft. This, I can work with. The slightly less tangible benefit I get is the immersion in the story. As a reader, nothing thrills me more than when I get caught up in a story, and as a writer, I'm the same way. Unfortunately, with real life being what it is, I don't have the luxury of being able to close myself up in a room with nothing but the voices in my head for company. And honestly, I don't have the attention span, either. But if I know I've got to knock out words, and if I've been living in the story for the past two hours on and off, it's much easier to pop out of the story to feed my kids, then return to the story, than to have to pop in to the story in between loads of laundry.
Now naturally, anything done by anyone that might either be fun or feel good has its critics, but I'm not one of them. Anything that gets me to "the end" is a good thing, and I'm riding it until the wheels fall off.