If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, how's it going?
If you're asking me? I'll be honest - not great. I let myself take a few days off, which defeats my personal object (writing every day for 30 days) and puts me in a position to not quite hit 50k. One nice thing about the NaNo site is there's a little sidebar that shows you your daily average, the word count goal per day, how much you've actually written per day - and this is the big one - how much you have to write per day to still hit 50k by November 31st.
Right now, I need about 2k a day to hit the goal. It's not an impossible feat, and it's pretty cool to see how a few hundred words a day add up. The original daily goal is just over 1600 words, and after fucking off for almost four days, an extra 400 a day can catch me up? Now, that's not to say I'll actually write 2k a day, or even hit the 50k goal. But that small stat shows something really important - if you sit down and do the work, it adds up. 400 words per day will make up for over 5k I'm behind. 400 words a day isn't nothing, but it's not a lot, either. I'd venture to say that almost anyone with a regular habit can crank out 400 words in a sitting.
When I talked about how NaNoWriMo is fully customizable, and how it can teach us things about our writing we don't always think about, I didn't talk about how it proves steady writing leads to accomplishing big goals, because I'm aware that not everyone can make 1600+ words happen every day for a month, and plenty writers who can, simply don't want to. It's a lot of stress and it requires sacrifice. 50k words in 30 days is an accomplishment because it's a highly unusual pace. But when I look at that addition of 400 words per day it really sends home how habitual writing can make big goals happen with steady, concentrated effort.
It's a great object lesson for people who aren't sure about their pace, their goals, or their ability to carve out writing time.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've gotta try to write 2k words...