Before you read the rest of this post, read this:
Robyn made some excellent points which immediately caused me to jump to several conclusions of my own. She said that she had heard it argued that some things worth doing were also worth doing badly as opposed to not doing them at all. Her point was that you could mop the floor quickly with less than perfection rather than not at all and give the extra time to bettering your writing. But I submit to you that writing poorly is also worth doing.
Of the 50,000 words you produce in that month, and I'm speaking in faith that you will indeed succumb to my personal brand of peer pressure and participate, there probably won't be one inspired literary word in the lot. But the beauty of it is that you DO it. Driven by nothing more than a deadline, you actually WRITE a novel instead of just THINKING about it or PLANNING to do it. Also driven by a deadline, you abandon all ideas of perfection along the wayside and write a dreadful first draft. You'll be in good company with about 250,000 other writers or more doing the same. First drafts are like seed sown. You can't get the harvest without them.
In other words, it is so worth it for you to exercise your right to write a novel, even if you do it badly. There are hundreds of thousands of people in history that would have given anything to have that kind of freedom that we so casually pass off. Heaven forbid that we eventually lose that freedom in the USA, but it's possible.
Reasons to be a NaNoWriMo Writer:
• Because you like to write.
• Because you don't like to write.
• Because you have the freedom to.
• Because you have an obligation to capture your personal voice and ideas on paper in a way that no one else ever can.
In case you're thinking that you don't have time, it'll take you about 55 hours total if you're an average typist. Spread out during a month, that's not too bad. You'll even have a few free evenings here and there. If you do it like one writer, you'll get the first 12,000 words done in the first week, and the last 38,000 done in the final three days, plugging in the last at one minute before midnight on the 30th.
In conclusion, I think only real value of NaNoWriMo is the accountability that transforms an otherwise procrastination-laden individual into a writing machine for one month. Doesn't that sound like fun?