While I have always been a writer, I owe my ability to “go the distance” to NaNoWriMo. The program and community changed my life and that of my husband. We both find the intensive writing experience to be cathartic, and suffer from withdrawals during non-NaNoWriMo event months (the main event is in November, and they hold “camps” in April and August).
We also use NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program as a part of our homeschool curriculum. It provides a safe learning environment for children complete with visiting areas and writing workbooks, and allows for a much lower age-appropriate word count goal. Beginning in the 5th grade, my son transformed from a woefully-resistant writer into a novel-creating student who proudly shows off his certificate of accomplishment.
These are the personal perks we’ve garnered from NaNoWriMo. As for the world community, the benefits are numerous. Simply put, with the help of NaNoWriMo, the world sheds its boundaries and is infused with more creativity, more books, and more authors.