If you don't know, NaNoWriMo stand for National Novel Writing Month and that month would be each November. The goal is to write at 50,000 words in the month on a novel and I have participated in NaNoWriMo since 2004. In order to make it to the 50,000 word mark, you should write at 1,666+ words a day. You wouldn't think that sounds like many, but with working full time, it's hard to get it in.
My personal goal each November is to use NaNoWriMo to give me a jump start on a new manuscript. I have never made it to the 50,000 word mark in the month, but I have been able to complete two manuscripts that I started. My novel, "Love, Lies & Deceit" was my NaNo novel from 2004 and it was published in 2009. My current manuscript, which should be finished by the end of this month was my NaNo novel from 2006. I'm hoping to start pitching it around to publishers next month.
I didn't think I would participate this year because I had not come up with an idea for a new book. However, ideas seem to come up when you least expect them. Last week, I was watching television when an idea just popped in my head. When you get an idea like that, you must write it down immediately, which is what I did. It was a good thing too, because an hour later, I had forgotten much of the idea.
Now, that I have an idea so far in advance, I can start working on characters, location, plot, and an outline. All that pre-work is allowable in NaNoWriMo. As long as you don't actually start writing, you can do all the advanced work that you want. It really helps to have so much of that done by November, so then all you have to concentrate on is writing.