The official word goal is 50,000 words but I've decided not to hold myself to that. With my health in the state it is I feel that would just be setting myself up for failure. If I start to get behind I'm likely to just quit and I don't want to do that. So my goal instead is to finish the first draft of the ghost story my mom and I have been telling orally for years. I don't expect it to end up being that long, maybe 15-20k words. If I can get that done I'll be happy because then next year I can work on polishing it and maybe eventually self publish.
If I finish that fairly early then I'll start working on my other ghost story idea but if I don't finish it that's okay. There is always next November. That story will be in second person and I've never written in second person before, so I can look at whatever I get done during nano as practice. If I do somehow reach the 50k and "win" that would be super awesome and I'm going to reward myself with something like a sims DLC or some new clothes. That way I have motivation to still try, but I won't beat myself up about it if I don't get there.
To write 50k words in 30 days you need to write approximately 1,667 words a day. At the beginning it doesn't seem like much but around the middle it starts to feel impossible. Or at least that's what happened the last time I participated. Since I know I tend to drop out of month long every day things (like 30 Days of Thanks or 30 Day Blogging Challenges) I'm going to try and do Reverse Nano instead. You start off strong writing 3346 words the first day and then the goal decreases every day. If you are able to meet the goals you have 20k words by the end of the first week! The word count drops after that by about 5k a week. During week three your goal ends up less than the 1,667 you'd be doing normally. Week four you are writing less than a thousand words a day. The last two days you only need 117 words combined! I'm hoping this will help keep me going as long as I can meet the high word counts of the first week.
What about you? Have you ever done NaNoWriMo or are you planning on doing it this year? If so what's your strategy? Feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the website, my username is FrozenOJ like always.