Then I started writing with publication in mind in 2009. I wrote my first novel (The Phoenix Prophetess) and it took nine months to write. I averaged a chapter a week. Until NaNoWriMo 2009, the most I wrote in one month was 28,000 words. But, that's half the goal of NaNoWriMo. I had an idea for a novel, so I thought, "What the heck." So I went into NaNo that year with an idea, a book description, and an outline. Virtuoso, a YA Paranormal, was completed in November 2009 during NaNoWriMo at around 68,000 words. To this date, it is still the most I've written in a month, but I'm on my way to topping that word count. *crosses fingers*
I loved participating in NaNoWriMo. I loved the community of it. People's expressions when I said I was going to write a novel in one month. I liked the competition. I wanted to win and push myself further than I had before. I had fun. Even though the novel is a mess right now, it was totally worth it.
So in 2010, I started planning in early October for Missing, an adult paranormal thriller. I had the idea and mulled over scenes even before October, but in October, I wrote a book description, outline, synopsis, character sketches, researched it, and did some world building. I came in prepared and wrote around 51,000 words in that novel. I haven't had a chance to revise it. It needs work. A POV cut out, more scenes, maybe a character cut completely depending on how I want to go with it. The idea for Missing branched out into my short story "Cassandra Project," which will eventually be the novella Confessions of a Telekinetic. I even have a loose idea of a YA Paranormal Thriller from it for another day.
Now we are in NaNoWriMo 2011. I started planning (in my head) for Starred. Scenes would crop up. I would daydream what would happen. I got my outline, description, character chart, even bought an eye patch for research purposes. Then The Last Prophetess slammed into my brain in late August. The two books were so different from each other. I pledged to do just the one. The other wouldn't give up. So I decided to write them both.
Why not? If I can write 68,000 words in one month, why not 100,000? If I can write one book, why not two? It's a challenge, but I need it. It may turn out as crap, but perhaps I need that too.
NaNoWriMo makes you let go. It's for fun. If I don't make it, it's no loss. I tried. I have a novel, or two, there to work with instead of a blank page. Best of all, I get to write.
That's why I NaNoWriMo.