NaNoWriMo is a challenge — 50,000 words in just 30 days. You can do it… you can!
And you’ll have an awesome sense of accomplishment when you do. But, I know from experience that it can turn from fun to dreadful in just a few days. That’s where planning really helps. Knowing where you’re headed with the story means you’ll always have something to write each day. Here’s another tip: keep good records.
I created this NaNoWriMo Word Count Tracker spreadsheet a few years back to help not only keep track of how much I wrote each day, but also how much I had to go. Seeing those numbers add up day after day and those progress bars climb is amazing motivation to keep going.
This spreadsheet works best in Microsoft Excel (I work on a Mac and it works just fine) and is set for NaNoWriMo’s 50,000 word count goal. But if you’re insane and are shooting for more, you can customize the number. It’ll break your goal up by days and show you exactly what total number you should hit each day. It’ll also give you a number of words per day that you have to write to hit your goal. This is useful if you’ve fallen behind or are ahead. You’ll always know what you need to accomplish to make sure you get to that 50,000 word mark.
The colors give you an idea of how you’re doing at a glance. The word count bars grow from yellow to orange the closer you get to reaching your goal. Green colored icons basically mean you’ve done good for the day and are on track.
Yellow ones mean you were super close for the day or your progress is staying flat. Red ones mean you’re missing the mark and are in danger of not completing on time. That’s pretty much it. Question? Find me on Twitter or shoot me an email.