Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNo and Beyond: Creating Word Count Goals

It's almost November! Sure, the holidays are coming, but ask a writer why November is exciting and you'll probably hear, "NaNoWriMo," which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Most of us call it NaNo.

I'm not participating this year, but I apply some useful NaNo tips every time I write a first draft. My favorite tip is to pre-plan how long it will take me to write my book. It's pretty simple. I take out an index card and my calendar, and I assign a word count goal for each day and a target word count for each week until the book will be done.

When I'm actually writing, I highlight each day in either pink or yellow. Pink is for the days I meet or exceed my goal, and yellow is for the days I don't meet my goal.

This method keeps me on track. I write my books in a much shorter span of time when I map out the goals. Try it!

For my writer friends, are you doing NaNo? For everyone else, are you excited November is almost here? I am!!

Have a terrific weekend!


  1. I'm "kind of" doing NaNo! I'm forcing myself to write 50k words this November. No. Matter. What. I've never been a prolific writer, but now that I'm doing this full time, I feel I must get faster. So... 50 THOUSAND WORDS OR BUST! The "kind of" part is because it's the last 50,000 words of a novel instead of the first 50,000 words.

  2. Go for it, Heather!! I understand the drive to push yourself. One reason I don't do NaNo is because when I turn my internal editor off, my writing gets really lazy and I spend way too much time cleaning up in the revision stages. But...I still get my books done in a short amount of time (for me) when I set daily goals. It just takes more of my day! I'm excited for you to finish this book!! Woo-hoo!

  3. Sure, why not? Have to write those pesky words sometime. I aim for 5K per day, which give some time for rewriting.

    But November doesn't thrill me...I prefer summer!

  4. 5K a day?? Wow! That's impressive! Yeah, November is a tough month for me too. And December? Forget it!! For some reason March is always a good writing month in my world. :)

  5. Not doing NaNo because I find it way too pressuring. I don't do well with pressure. LOL! More of a daily goal person myself, but best of luck to everybody who is NaNo-ing. :)

  6. I'm the same, Melissa! I don't mind my own pressure, but NaNo pressure is too much!


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