One of the appealing aspects of NaNoWriMo is the ability to track progress. The only way I can stay on task is to create a paper trail that proves that I’ve done something other than stare out the window and stuff my face with Kashi bars all week. Uploading my latest chunk of scribbles and seeing my word count go up on the NaNo website is satisfying and validating.
Equally appealing is the public nature of NaNo. My tongue-in-cheek motto — and presumably the motto for about 2/3 of our population — is, “If it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen.” If I don’t post my word count for the world to see (as if they are interested, but let’s not explore that too deeply), did I really write those words?