As I sit here writing, we have just now passed through the first week of Nanowrimo and I’m glad to say that everything is on schedule.
As you should already know, the goal of Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words in the space of November. Now, how much exactly do you need to write in order to pull that off? One thousand, six hundred sixty-seven words per day, on average. How much is that? Somewhere between two and a half to four type written pages, depending on how often you’re hitting the enter button (a day that’s heavy on descriptive passages or explanations is obviously going to be a lot shorter for the word count than a back and forth one-line-each dialogue).
For those of you who haven’t signed up, the Nanowrimo page is awesome. In an expection to the rule, the stuff that impresses me isn’t the clear, simple layout of the page or the easy to use format. Nope – I’m impressed by the dandy ‘Update Word Count’ function sitting up at the top. In all, it’s not even that much to look at: it’s just a box that you can fill in with numbers with a small little link beside it. So, why do I like it?
Because I have a horrible, terrible secret: I like math. There’s something about numbers that calms and soothes me. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, the whole spiel. And the Nano Update Word Count widget feeds that fixation, since it links directly to the Stats page for my novel, which, among other things, tells you how many words you’ve written that day, your average number of words per day, and even how many words you’d need per day to finish on time (or even what day you’ll finish on if you keep up your current pace).
In truth, I even use it as part of my writing strategy for Nanowrimo, in order to make sure that I always write a good amount per day. If I think about writing all those words, then I never get very far. It’s just a mental thing, a matter of getting over the big number. But, if that’s the case, then what about working smaller amounts more times? After all, if the average is always 1667 words, then you only need to write about seventeen 100-word bunches. How long is one of those? About a paragraph in size (200 for really long paragraphs). So, if I wrote through a paragraph or two, then pause and update my count, it would probably only take five to ten minutes, but it would most likely get me through 250 words. Do that six times and you’ve just about got your stuff for the day done.
How about you? What’s your method for muddling through your writing?
Also, Kaitlin wrote a couple of guest posts, so be sure to check them out!