I'm almost positive I've used NaNoWriMo as my "N" post in a previous A to Z Challenge (Yep! A to Z 2014), but it's literally the one writing event (besides this very A to Z Challenge) that I look forward to every year. Maybe a few annual writing contests, but I never get anything written for them on time, if at all.
If unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo is a yearly writing challenge of writing 50k words throughout the month of November. That comes out to roughly 1667 words a day or so, if I recall correctly. I've had some decent years, some not so decent, but only one official "win" since I began participating in 2012. However, I consider any writing a win! And these past two years (maybe just last year?) I've focused much of my NaNoWriMo time to a board game I'm working on.
Like the A to Z Challenge, most of the month is spent solely trying to write (generally on multiple projects) and my social life really takes a blow. I write slow, so for me to just sit down for an hour or two a day, knocking out 2k words, isn't exactly a reality. I try to put my priority on writing, though, it's a habit (many would agree is unhealthy) that I fall into year after year. I think that's because it's one of two challenges that actually inspire me to write, even if I don't finish.
I'll definitely be participating again this year, though I can't guarantee I'll be doing any of the challenge's local, social events (write-ins, tours, etc). I've no idea what I will be focusing on, I rarely ever do, preferring to have a handful of WIP that I can jump between, just in case I grow stagnant on one project. I'm hoping with the writing I've been doing so far for Dreams in the Shade of Ink's A to Z that I'll be even more inspired this year to try my hand at fiction. We'll see...
Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? If so, what have your experiences been like? Are you participating this year? If so, do you have an idea and/or outline of what you'll be writing? What's some advice you would give to newcomers of the writing challenge?