Into the NaNoWriMo Home Stretch — and My Discovery of BeeMinder

Screenshot 2015-11-24 21.39.12My NaNoWriMo word count is at last climbing steadily, if not as steeply as I would like. The social support during November in Southern California is amazing. I can find a write-in any night of the week if I don’t mind a long drive; if I do mind a long drive, there are three local write-ins here in the San Fernando Valley. Four years ago there were NONE here in the SFV. Go NaNos!

I have added a new tool in my unending quest for ways to manage my ADHD — Beeminder. The basic idea here is to set a quantifiable goal for yourself. If you mess up on your path to that goal — you pay the nice folks at Beeminder. The first mess-up (called “derailment”) costs you $0, the second $5, the third $10, the fourth $30, and so on, with each subsequent mess-up after the second costing you twice as much as the total of what you’ve already paid.

The folks at Beeminder publish their own goal curves — and if they mess up, the first Beeminder customer to find it gets the company owner’s mess-up payment. So — it’s a two-way street.

I already have a reward/punishment system in my Habitica account. So why bother? Some things — like keeping my Paleo diet clean, writing every day, and getting a reasonable amount of sleep — have just not responded well to Habitica. Frankly, I’m at such a high level in the game now, that often I just absorb the punishment to my hit points for flaking on something I’d like to become a habit.

Yeah. Can’t absorb $810 for the seventh mess-up on Beeminder. Not real US dollars, I can’t.

Results so far:

  • More than a week of clean Paleo diet, when I couldn’t get 3 consecutive days.
  • Writing every day since Nov. 20, with word count going steadily up.

I just started the sleep thing, so I’ll keep you posted.


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