I'm sort of waiting to hear from some NaNoWriMo writers about their experiences this year. I didn't do it, but only because of what I learned the first year I participated. I learned that I don't have wrists or fingers that can do 1666 words a day every day for a month. I succeeded in putting out the words for about a week and a half my first time, then had to resort to ice and NSAIDs.
But I got a cool spreadsheet out of it. NaNo no longer uses it, but I do. The writers that year were encouraged to borrow the spreadsheet, adapt it, and use it however they wanted to. I still use variations of it for my projects.
So my main takeaways were the knowledge of just how much I CAN write per day and survive--and the spreadsheet.
I'd like to know if anyone else gained insights, self-knowledge, practical tips, or a full novel from the experience this year.