Comparing yourself to others
NaNoWriMo is right around the corner and before we get there, there’s something I want to say. 50,000 words is the word count goal. It’s what 98% of Wrimos are going to be aiming to reach by the end of November.
But you know what? It’s OK if you don’t.
There’s a recommended daily goal of 1667 words to reach that 50k at the end. But it’s okay if you don’t write that much every day.
There are going to be some people who charge from the starting line and somehow manage to write 50,000 words within the first week. I don’t know how they do it either, but it’s ok to not be one of them.
While I encourage you to add buddies and surround yourself with other writers going through this at the same time, this is more for encouragement and cheerleading. I URGE you not to look at other people’s word counts and feel like you should be doing better because at the end of the day, if you come out of November having written only 100 words, you’ve still achieved something. You came out with more words than you went in with.
This is your writing journey, so find the path that suits you best. Whether it’s writing 1667 words a day in one big lump, or taking part in a few word sprints and calling it a day. Maybe you can only write on the weekends. Just have fun and write!
Climbing that insurmountable hill
If you miss a few days of NaNoWriMo it’s easy to feel like you’re never going to catch up. I’m going to tell you something that helped me once;
Figure out your remaining word count total and divide it by the number of days remaining in the month.
I could kick myself for how simple this is. One NaNo I wrote 1000 words and then stopped for a few days, I don’t remember why. But I definitely didn’t win that year because I came back on November 8th and saw that I had to write a whopping 12,336 words to be able to catch up! There was NO WAY I was going to be able to do that! That was it. The end of my NaNo journey for that year.
But what I should have done was divided 49,000 words by 22 days, which is what I had left. This would’ve meant that I had to write 2,227 words a day to reach 50k by the end of the month! I don’t know about you, but that seems a lot more do-able than almost 13k in one hit!
The best way that I’ve found to catch up is to take part in some Word Sprints. You have either a time limit (half an hour) or a word count goal (1000 words) or both (a 1k30 typically means you’re aiming to write 1000 words in half an hour).
During NaNoWriMo there is a special twitter account that runs sprints pretty much every day in various different time zones. You can follow them here; @NaNoWordSprints
I’ve got some other fun ways to boost your word count over in last year’s blog
If you’ve got any tricks of the trade, feel free to share them below!