Steve Hoefer of Grathop Labs built this Arduino-controlled novel-writing progress meter. It tracks the effort as the writer cranks out 50,000 words in one month:
I don’t know if everyone has a novel in them or not, but every year in November a few hundred thousand people give it a shot by participating in National Novel Writing Month. The daunting goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. At just under 1700 words a day, the event tends to be as full of excuses as it is participants.
Organizers have come up with numerous ways to keep writers motivated. There are local events, writer meet-ups at coffee shops and libraries. The web site makes a big deal about sharing your progress, posting your word count for other members to see and to, in a fashion, certify that you’ve succeeded. Or not. There are forums and an assortment of widgets to put on your web site to show off, battle, or compare word counts against other writers or even geographic areas.
Sometimes it takes a little more of a kick in the pants to keep you motivated, so I put together this physical progress monitor. It automatically tracks your (or your chosen stalking victim’s) progress toward 50,000 words using the data from the NaNoWriMo word count server.