Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

Goal Accomplished! Win NaNoWriMo (2014)

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month = November) is not a contest. There is no limit to how many people can win. The organization sponsoring the event calls anyone a winner if they complete the goal of writing 50,000 words (about the length of The Great Gatsby) of an original novel during the month of November.

So why would anyone want to “win” this event?

Winning NaNoWriMo means I’ve made significant progress toward writing a story I’ve had in my head for years, and have not been able to write in any meaningful way. It’s a shared event within the amateur and professional writing community worldwide, and that makes it fun to take part in whether you meet your goal or not. Which is why this is my fifth year participating. This year, however, I finally completed this goal that I attempted four other times, and had previously failed. Each time I’d made more progress than the previous year, but I’d never actually completed my goal until now (and this time I finished before Thanksgiving, 4 days early!). This is also one of the goals on my list that could not be done in one day (such as slurp an oyster), so it took more planning and dedication to accomplish, and that makes the success so much more satisfying.

NaNoWriMo is supposed to teach you the discipline of writing daily, of building that habit of putting your words on paper (or on screen if you use the computer), and getting your story out there. The emphasis is quantity over quality for the first draft, because it is easier to edit when you actually have written some words to edit.

It helped me get about halfway on my story, and without this push to get a certain number of words done by the end of the month, I would be editing as I wrote, and would have hardly written a third of what I have now. However, just as I did with the 100 thank you notes in 100 days, I had a hard time doing the daily quota, daily. Instead, I would skip some days, then catch up on others. It’s a work pattern I am working to break. I would really like to get more disciplined on things like this, so that I get in the habit of making daily progress toward my goals.

My NaNoWriMo 2014 Stats - Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

My NaNoWriMo 2014 Stats – Screen shot courtesy of National Novel Writing Month, modified to add green line intersecting goal and actual word counts

I feel very happy that I completed this goal this year, the first year I was truly determined to do it (first year out of school). It makes me feel like I accomplished a huge task, something I am definitely glad I had on my list. And who knows? Maybe it will become one of the three books I want to publish…

Have you learned the discipline of making daily progress on your goals? Leave a comment and let me know if you have any tips.

Resource: Do you need that extra help getting motivated to write? An application called Write or Die gives you rewards (positive reinforcement), consequences (like showing creepy spiders for not writing quickly enough), and stimuli (like annoying sounds). It also has the Kamikaze option, which will erase previously written words if you stop writing. It is available free on the web, or as a paid version for Windows, Mac and Linux.


I’m still raising money for the organization who sponsors this event, to send curriculum kits to schools and support literacy efforts. Please join me in donating at least $1 to help children and adults reach their literacy goals. Donations accepted until December 19, 2014.

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Progress Report #2: attempting 3 goals, including sending literacy curriculum kits to schools

Image made at BrainyQuote

Image made at BrainyQuote

This November, I’m attempting 3 goals at once: Win NaNoWriMo (by writing 50,000 words on my novel in the month of November), raise $1000 for a cause I’m passionate about (click for my fundraising page raising money for literacy curriculum kits for schools), and get at least one list item sponsored (will be accomplished if the fundraising goal is met).

Right now, my biggest disappointment is with my progress toward raising support for National Novel Writing Month, a non-profit that supports literacy efforts, supplies literacy curriculum kits to teachers worldwide, and teaches children and adults to express themselves in healthy ways through storytelling. My goal for this week was to raise $500, half of the $1000 total goal. However, only 1 person and myself have donated so far. I’m disappointed with myself that I didn’t communicate my motivations for this goal more clearly and that people may have thought the money was going to me because I associated it with my bucket list. If you have thought that, I deeply apologize for the confusion.

The money goes directly to the non-profit and there are more details about what types of activities they use the funds for on the fundraising website that is tracking my fundraising progress. The reason this cause is so important to me is that I appreciate all the people who invested in my literacy development throughout the years. Being able to read, write, and critically think about what I’m learning has been essential to my success as a student, employee, and human being. I want every person to be able to have the opportunity to develop as a reader and writer, and that is why I chose this organization. Would you please join me in donating to send curriculum kits to children and support their development into people who can communicate well?

NaNoWriMo progress: By the end of yesterday, I should have written a total of 30,000 words on my story. As of last night, I’ve done 24,358 words. This puts me 5,642 words behind schedule. (You can follow along with my progress by looking at the widget in the sidebar, or by following me on Twitter (@GoalListTweets).

Goals to complete by the end of November 25:

  • Catch up, then stay on track with my NaNoWriMo word count. By the end of November 25, I should have just over 41,600 words.
  • Raise $800 to support the nonprofit organization National Novel Writing Month, helping them continue their literacy work in classrooms and online. Click here for my fundraising page.

Resource: Can’t remember the word for the concept you’re thinking of? Trying to think of related words or words in the same category? Solving a crossword puzzle? OneLook Reverse Dictionary helps you find the words to express yourself.

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Progress Report: 3 goals at once

Image made at BrainyQuote (brainyquote.com)

Image made at BrainyQuote

This November, I’m attempting 3 goals at once: Win NaNoWriMo (by writing 50,000 words on my novel in the month of November), raise $1000 for a cause I’m passionate about (click for my fundraising page), and get at least one list item sponsored (will be accomplished if the fundraising goal is met).

Currently, I’m a little behind where I should be at NaNoWriMo. By the end of today I should have 20,000 words written, at the time of this writing I have written 15,885 words. However, the story itself is coming along nicely and I’m enjoying the process of writing. (You can follow along with my progress by looking at the widget in the sidebar, or by following me on Twitter (@GoalListTweets).

I am not meeting my fundraising goal at all. So far, the only money donated through my page is the $11 that I donated. National Novel Writing Month, while a funny name, is a legit organization that helps with children’s literacy and self-expression. In a world where suicides, school murders, depression, and poor self-esteem are so prevalent, I am very excited to support an organization that tells people their story is valuable and helps them learn the skills they need to express themselves in healthy ways. Please join with me in giving at least $1 to support their efforts (it’s tax-deductible).

Click here to go to my fundraising page.

Goals to complete by the end of Wednesday, November 19:

  • Catch up, then stay on track with my NaNoWriMo word count. By the end of November 19, I should have just over 31,600 words.
  • Raise $500 to support the nonprofit organization National Novel Writing Month, helping them continue their work in classrooms and online. Click here for my fundraising page.

Resource: Are you writing a story? Got writer’s block? Here’s a handy Writer’s Plot Twist Generator to help get you unstuck.

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