The NaNoWriMo Reward Calendar
When it comes to meeting my daily word goal for National Novel Writing Month, I'd like to say that the achievement as a writer is enough to get me there, but rewards go a long way in making those word counts actually happen.
Two years ago I needed to rack up double the word count for the first week so that I had some wiggle room later in the month when I needed to have and recoup from surgery. In order to not feel so crushed under the weight of that endeavor I often randomly selected rewards like going to the movies that night if I racked up 3,000 words that day. And those big ticket rewards will still happen, but for the daily experience I've transformed the tradition of the advent calendar into something special for NaNoWriMo.
I am not the first to take this route, I most assuredly got the idea last year from this picture.
The goal with this "calendar" is not one hundred percent formed. Like any first adventure I'm looking to treat this as a learning experience, but chocolate, mini gifts, and a bit of booze (for the over 21 writer in the States) seems like a good place to start.
Behind the scenes:
30 drawer storage cases turned out to be surprisingly hard to find. I ended up ordering one through Jo Ann Fabrics. I paid $34 with shipping and tax. I've since seen them cheaper through other retailers, but I was comfortable spending the money for a reusable item. My intent is to use this for all future NaNoWriMos.
Helpful Hint: bring one of the drawers with you when shopping for labels. I blindly bought a set of labels that turned out to be too big before finding these ones.
Next I needed to decide what to put in the drawers.
I wanted there to be a chocolate treat and tea treat for every "average" day (PS, the tea bags don't fit in these narrow drawers: the learning process has begun!) a mini bottle of booze for every Friday, and a special gift for the end of each week. Something small for weeks One and Three, and something more special for the ends of weeks Two and Four, because Week Two is always such a struggle, and Week Four is the Big Kahuna.
I selected a new nail polish for my end of Week One Reward, and a pair of earrings for end of Week Two, I ordered bookmarks as my reward for the end of Week Three, and an awesome candle I've been wanting for the end of Week Four and the official crossing of the NaNoWriMo finish line.
Because I tend to lose steam after the event, and 50,000 is generally only half of a novel, maybe two-thirds of one if you're keeping it around 300 pages, my personal goal for the month is closer to 75,000, which makes special rewards all the more important for me.
I've considered including little notes in each drawer as well, including book quotes from favorite authors and bits of advice to spur me on.
What else would you recommend be included in the calendar?