I have decided to call my word count frog (from my goody bag the night of the kickoff party) W.C. Frog. He's pretty happy right now because so far, I'm racking up some serious words. I got to 1,678 at the kickoff party before leaving (even though I was so exhausted for that last few hundred that I was nearly seeing double), and last night I added another 3,384 for a grand total (for November) of 5,062. If NaNoWriMo ever makes their word count widgets available, I'll put one in the sidebar with my overall word count status bar, so that you can see how far along I am in NaNo versus my total word count and overall goal.
The key to NaNoWriMo is getting ahead as much as you can at the beginning, so that when things interfere with writing later in the month — Thanksgiving, family obligations, and all the other little things that come up that you couldn't anticipate — you have a cushion to make up for those days when you don't get anything done at all. That's where I've failed in previous years, and it's kept me from winning every year but my very first, 2006.
For some people, the weekends serve as a great time to get ahead on their word count, but for me it's usually the opposite — it's harder for me to work on my novel on the weekends, when my husband and I are usually pretty busy.
Of course, I have a pretty busy month ahead of me this year, but I am hoping to maintain (and hopefully even increase) my slim lead, so that when the craziness hits later in the month, I won't fall behind!