It’s day 11 and I’ve already written over 30k words this month. Consider me shocked.
I was pretty sure this was a new record for me. So I went back to previous years’ graphs to check.
I participated in NaNoWriMo on and off between 2007 and 2013. I “won” that first year (2007), then didn’t finish the month with 50k words again until 2013.
From 2013 onward, I participated and “won” every year except last year. Last year I only wrote just over 7k total in the whole month. Last year was rough. In fact, the past twenty months or so have been rough. So, let’s just ignore last year’s NaNoWriMo anomaly and focus on 2013-2019.
I decided to have a look at my word count graphs to see if it really was a PR. I also wanted to know 1) if I’ve ever been this far ahead before, and 2) how many days it usually takes me to hit 30k words.
Here’s what the graphs look like:
In case it’s not obvious from those images, I’m almost never ahead. I’m always more or less struggling to just keep up with par.
To illustrate that point further, par has you hitting 30k words on the 18th of November. Here’s when I hit 30k in previous NaNoWriMos:
2013 = 21 November
2014 = 22 November
2015 = 19 November
2016 = 18 November
2017 = 19 November
2018 = 18 November
2019 = 21 November
2020 = never…
2021 = 11 November !!!!!!
This is totally the post that someone writes just before their amazing writing streak takes a nose dive off a cliff. So, let’s hope that I didn’t just jinx myself by sharing this. Instead, I’m just going to be excited that I’m finally writing something new again, and that it’s fun, and I’m loving it.
Now I’m going to go celebrate by doing a Crimson Vow draft on MtG Arena. Then, tomorrow, I get to watch Red Notice on Netflix (after I write another 2k words…)!
It’s time. I finally set up my November month at a glance and NaNoWriMo tracker.
This month I’m going minimalist as possible. Only five habits to track, chosen for what I think will keep me healthy and sane while I shift my focus more fully to writing. In terms of health and fitness, my habit goal is to hit my step count every day, try to eat fewer calories than I burn, and shoot for getting at least 45 minutes of continuous movement each day. In terms of mental well-being, my habit goal is at least 5 minutes of meditation and at least 30 minutes of reading for fun. That frees me up to focus the rest of the day on writing. Woo hoo!
This is the first year that I’m not working full time in addition to trying to hit my NaNoWriMo word count goal. I haven’t been able to focus on writing like this since my very first NaNoWriMo, back in 2007. So, this year, I’m shooting for 70,000 words in November instead of 50,000 words. We’ll see how it goes.
You’ll notice I have three benchmark columns in my NaNoWriMo tracker. The first is the basic “peanut butter” goal based on writing 1667 words per day. The second is based on the “reverse NaNoWriMo” method which front-loads the month and decreases your daily word count goal until you get to one word on the last day of the month. I like that method a lot. But, since I’m shooting for 70,000 words this month, I’ve added a third “modified” column. This one starts off using the reverse NaNoWriMo method for the first ten days and then shifts to 2100 words per day for days 11 thru 30.
Ultimately, my goal is to track to the “Modify” column total word count goal. But, I wanted to include all three so that I can make sure I’m at least staying ahead of the “peanut butter” and/or the “reverse” goals.
If you’re planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year, let me know in the comments, and feel free to add me as a buddy on the website. And share your bullet journal word count trackers. I’m always looking for new ideas and inspiration.
National Novel Writing Month is just over a week away! Time to set up my Reverse NaNo Word Count Tracker in my Bullet Journal… November is going to be a very busy month for me this year (again). Best to plan ahead… And get lots of words banked early in the month.
For those curious about my NaNoWriMo progress, we’re halfway through the month, and (as of this writing) I have just over 27k words. That puts me slightly ahead of the “peanut butter” schedule (1667 words/day). But, I’m about 10k behind the “reverse NaNo” schedule I’d intended to follow.
I had been doing really well on the reverse NaNo program, hitting most of my daily word count goals and catching back up if I missed the mark for a day. Then the election happened, and I couldn’t write. Last week was a rough week for writing. I wrote about 5400 words total last week and most of those were on Saturday and Sunday.
But, (knock on wood) I seem to be back on track now. I probably won’t hit my goal of finishing at the Night of Writing Dangerously coming up on Sunday. But I *might* be able to hit 50k before Thanksgiving. Even if I don’t, I’m still in a way better position at this point than I was last year — after which, I took a massive nose dive and had to claw my way to a win. I’m just hoping this post doesn’t jinx me like last year’s mid-point post did.
Regardless of when I hit 50k, I won’t be able to stop there. Right now, I’ve only written about a third of what I’ve outlined. I’m still building to the big drama at the mid-point. If I do the math, that puts the forecasted length of this book at 80k words, which sounds about right.
Which reminds me… I should really stop wasting word count on blog posts and get back to the word mines… 🙂
In order to write 50k words in November, the standard practice is to divide 50,000 by 30 days and give yourself a daily word count goal of ~1667 words per day.
This year, I think I’m going to try something a little different… It’s called “Reverse NaNo,” and it looks like this:
The idea is to capitalize on initial early excitement and momentum and get ahead of your word count early. I really like this idea for a number of reasons. So, I created a word count tracker in my notebook, and I’m going to give it a try. If all goes well, I might even be done with my 50k words before the Thanksgiving holiday! Another added bonus is that, if I stick to this plan and meet these word count goals, I might have a real shot at ringing that bell at the Night of Writing Dangerously.
You see, if you finish your 50k words during the event, you get to go to the front of the ballroom and ring this very loud bell. Everyone cheers for you. It’s pretty awesome. I was nowhere near 50k last year during NoWD, and I had no idea about this particular tradition. This year, I’m going to be ready.
Oh, and yeah… That picture of my notebook is also revealing my weak attempt at trying out the whole Bullet Journal craze… I’m trying to decide if I like this free-form planner concept, or if I want to continue my tradition of buying (and only sort-of using) my usual weekly planner from Moleskine…
So far, I haven’t quite figured out a format that works quite right. Of course, my weekly planner isn’t perfect either, and I do like the flexibility that the “BuJo” method offers. I’ve got a couple months left to mess around with both options before I have to decide if I need to buy a 2017 planner. So, we’ll see.
Do you use a bullet journal? What resources did you find most helpful when you were very first getting started?