I have a love/hate relationship with NaNoWriMo. It can be a great jumpstart and kick in the pants--I have several clients doing it for that reason. It can also be a huge amount of pressure, causing people to abandon families, work, and anything rational for a month. And then, when those writers finish writing their novels... they send them out right away, without editing or critique feedback or any sort of polishing.... which is pretty much an agent's worst nightmare.
But despite that, I think it's a great impetus for writers. If you know that you're going into this with the understanding that you are producing a FIRST DRAFT ONLY, then you can have a lot of fun in November. You'll have to edit it; you'll have to polish it; you'll have to let it sit for at least a month or more before sending it out to agents. But you may find out that it's something you never would have thought to write or you might discover that you have the ability to set a goal and work towards it, which is a very good thing for a writer.
So I invite you all to join me this NaNoWriMo. I'm modifying the guidelines for myself--I get credit in my head, I've decided, if I can dictate 10,000 new words on the novel I've been working on for forever. It's not a lot, but it's encouragement, and that's what I'm in it for.
How about all of you?