Monday, November 2, 2015

How to Do NaNoWriMo Even When You Can't

It's November, and you know what that means. Hundreds of thousands of writers are stealing whatever time they can this month, pounding the keys to get an average of 1,667 words a day. The dedicated will reach 50,000 words by the end of the month and win National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

Participating in NaNo has many benefits. You get motivation to finish (or make good headway) on your novel and the chance to meet like-minded people. If you like writing in a group, there are lots of local meetups in libraries, coffeeshops, and other locations.

Sounds great, right? But what if the idea of committing to write 1,667 words every day for a month makes you want to laugh hysterically? Whether it's because of a slower writing speed, a job that takes up too much time, or family commitments, many people can't figure out how to make it happen.

But that doesn't mean you can't benefit from all that NaNo has to offer. Why not set your own goals? Maybe 1,667 words per day isn't realistic, but what about 800, or 500? You'll still be able to cheer on your fellow writers online and in person. Better yet, you'll still be making writing a daily habit.

I'll be shooting for 500 words per day on my new project throughout the month of November. I'm using the excellent (and free!) project tracker at to make sure I stay on target.

If you want to do a modified NaNo but don't think you can stick to a daily word count, what about putting in a certain amount of time each day? The Pomodoro Technique discussed in this NaNo post on the Project Mayhem blog might work for you, just like the author of the post.

Will you be NaNo-ing this year?

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