I've taken up the challenge to write 50k words this month with the now 10 year old writing program.
I'm working on the second act of a literary nonfiction book in progress (it's not just novels any more!), after spending a year outlining the chronology and ordering the chapters of a 20 year tale according to classic story structure. This is the first time NaNoWriMo has come around when I am in the trenches writing on a daily basis with a word count and deadline of my own that happens to match NaNo's.
We'll see if it helps me stick to my schedule or not. So far, the first day I spent a lot of time setting up my account and perusing the forums and being thwarted by the overwhelmed technology (they were getting another server to handle demand). So on that score I'd have to say the site works for procrastination. What I also found useful was the opportunity to be concise about what I am doing, who my antagonist is, and it was edifying to realize that many people writing in a similar genre are tackling issues that overlap with mine. I've buddied up with them to discuss the topics and stay on course. Some are 15 or 16 years old, and working with such young writers will be a new experience.
Today will be hard, since I'll want to follow a bit of Obama election news (congratulations one and all!) but I think I can also use that momentum to forge ahead with another uplifting project: my book. I haven't felt this elated in a long long time.
Causes Anastasia Ashman Supports
Vipassana Meditation Instruction (dhamma.org) Ashoka Organization of Social Entrepreneurs (ashoka.org)