There is certainly a lot of negative commentary on the National Novel Writing Month coming out in the blogosphere this month. Here is my rebuttal to all the negativity:
I like NaNo for three reasons:
1) I am one of those writers that suffers from a particularly b!$chy inner editor. If I let her she will correct line-by-line. Every word must be poetry or it gets backspaced. The goals established by NaNo require me to push her away and accept a 'good-enough for now word' in order to get the story out. After NaNo, I take a one month break to enjoy the holidays and the feeling of accomplishment and then spend months re-writing and honing the work.
2) Because NaNo has a great public profile it is an easy excuse to get my family, circle of friends, and even strangers on board to enable the focus on writing. For the rest of the year I fight the 'you are at home - you must have time to do XYZ for me' misunderstanding. NaNo gives me a very public and therefore provable reason that I am not available to do that extra laundry, watch your cats or take the car to the shop. For this one month every year I am free to indulge in all the writing time I need without explanations or compromises.
For the record I never really get involved in the silliness - the forums, the monkeys vs octupi etc. I do attend a few local write-ins as you must get out of the house occasionally and I do print the certificates at the end to place with the completed draft of the novel.
3) My final reason why I think that NaNo is a good thing - the Young Writer's Program. There are numerous kids that get exposed to writing through NaNo and in my book, anything that encourages literacy (be it reading or writing) is worthy of support!