Whoaaa, We’re (Almost) Halfway Through NaNoWriMo…


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It really blows because up through day 6, I was ON A ROLL. I was keeping up with the recommended word count per day everyday. And THEN the weekend happened. I came into it with every expectation of getting ahead, and then it just didn’t happen. To be honest, I slept a lot this weekend. I call it self care, though, because after the three day weekend, I woke up this morning feeling quite ready for the week.

This week is always a harrowing one at school (especially middle school). It’s the week before Thanksgiving break. It’s only a 3 1/2 day week, so keeping the kids on task is a challenge for sure. We’re wrapping up the end of a project right now, so today was not so bad. I also think my not being in a terrible Monday (but not monday) mood helped.

So before I roll into an update on my students, I’m just admitting to the world that on Day 13, I have 11,000 words (and I should have 21,667 words). I’m NOT giving up on the big goal. I am off ALL next week, and even though we’ll be traveling back to Virginia to see my husband’s family, we’re super broke so I’m pretty sure I’ll have a lot of down time to work on my novel. I REFUSE to give up on this story. It has so much potential. I’m just stuck in the slow part right now. It’s about to move on from that though so I’m going to keep trudging on until something happens.

AND NOW. For the update many have asked about in comments: MY STUDENTS!

So I think before the kids go on Thanksgiving break I’m going to make them two offers.

  1. I’m going to let some of them change their word count goals. I know some students have just been busy and haven’t gotten to write a lot yet. However, I think some are so far off from where they should be word-count-wise that it’s starting to affect their motivation. A student (who is falling behind in my class) set a goal for 25,000 words and is still with less than 500. He keeps trying to write during class when he really, really needs to be doing his work. There are a few others I’m beginning to see slow down because they don’t think they’ll reach their goal, and no amount of motivation from me is helping. So, for some students (to my discretion), I am going to let them alter their word count goal. Technically, I think the YWP website lets them change their word count goal throughout the month anyway.
  2. I’m going to offer them a challenge. For all students who update their word count with me Thursday (I will only see half of them on Friday), the student who writes the most words over the Thanksgiving break will win some kind of prize. I need a prize idea though! Please share some ideas in the comments! Keep in mind that I’m a broke teacher and on a budget haha.

So for my week TWO update, some NUMBERS!

So with our total word count goal currently 632,100our current number of words written is:

47,247 words
That’s 7.47%!

The interesting (and sad) thing is there are STILL quite a few students that I’ve received no word counts from yet. Of course, as I’ve stated before, I’m doing this outside of class for the most part, so I don’t always get to remind students to update their word count. They always seem to ignore the note on the board that’s there everyday too, haha.

I have 4 students who are at over 50% of the way to their word count goal. I have 15 students who have written over 1,000 words so far this month. I even have one student who has written over 4,000 words! (And that was his word count on Friday!)

One of my kiddos even asked me to read the first chapter of her story. She writing an autobiography of sorts. Let me give you a quick glimpse at what she wrote:

He took a wrong turn and has been taking a drive down drug lane. He must have forgot to turn on his GPS to find his way through life.


Facilitating this challenge has made me truly proud and amazed at what these students are capable of. Last year, my 7th graders were an absolute struggle. This year, I’ve been amazed at what they can accomplish. This is the teaching year that I needed.

My plan is to do an update this weekend pre-Thanksgiving, and hopefully we have some AMAZING results from the Thanksgiving break. Hopefully students are more excited to write their story and actually do it at home (versus the homework I rarely assign because it never gets done).

We’ve got just over half the month to make amazing things happen. And somehow, I don’t think I’ve seen the peak of some of these kiddos yet.

Happy writing!

9 thoughts on “Whoaaa, We’re (Almost) Halfway Through NaNoWriMo…

  1. You got this! Look at it this way, I was facing laptop issues and just started my NaNoWriMo YESTERDAY! I’m not going to brag, but I’m at ~7500 words in two days, but I’m more likely to just say “She’s still ahead of me”, cuz that’s just how my head works…let’s compromise and say, if I can get there, YOU surely can! See you at the finish line.

  2. I know what you mean! I fell behind, and it does feel harder to catch up than it does to stick with the daily minimum. Just keep at it. It helps me if I just squeeze in 100-500 words at odd moments rather than try to get it all in at once.

  3. You can do it! And hey, 11K is freaking awesome. It’s SO much more than zero, which is what it would have been if you never started!

    I’ve been having a tough time this week due to work commitments and banging out my daily words has been very unpleasant every evening, although the NanoWordSprints account on twitter has helped a lot. Hoping next weekend I’ll be able to actually enjoy the writing process a bit more!

    • I made up some ground tonight doing word sprints as well. I think I also just managed to get through a slower part of the story. We’ll see how the words come tomorrow! Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. 11K is better than 10K or 0K! Keep it up! Even though on the website I have 24K I only wrote 15K of that this month. Keep it up! I believe in you! And for gift ideas, you could maybe put an excerpt of the winner’s story on your blog? Maybe even make some NaNo cookies. Or a mug. I love mugs. But I’m a high school student, not a middle school one. lol

  5. I think it’s great doing this with students, even if they don’t “win.” Just trying writing and doing it every day is a big step for some, and hopefully a lot of them realize they like it. It’s one thing to write what you have to for school, but this encourages them to write on their own, and that’s awesome. You’ve done a great job just getting so many to participate 🙂

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