I have known about NaNoWriMo for 3 years now, but between working at a start-up company and other life concerns, it had never seemed something even remotely within my grasp.
But this year, everything was different. I was a consultant now, not a full-time employee doing three jobs at once. I was in a stable environment both financially and emotionally which allowed me to devote energy to personal endeavors that have been on hold for years. The NaNoWriMo challenge rolled up just as I was beginning to do some serious contemplation of where to take my life from here on out...and for the first time in half a decade, I wrote a coherent (well, mostly coherent - I will fix the rest hopefully in the next month or two) body of work solely for the purpose of entertainment, rather than for work or other analyses.
I have successfully finished 2008, but already, I am pondering the sequel for 2009's challenge.
This is only the conclusion, but there is a near blow-by-blow account on my personal blog at http://dragonwarden.blogspot.com. I suppose it is no longer so nail-bitingly suspenseful now that I have spoiled the ending, but at least you can admire the slick little badge which I am finally able to cap all those entries with!