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A Few Tips On NANOWRIMO #4: Them First Week, Low Wordcount Blues

NANOWRIMO started last Thursday. It is now officially Week Número Dos.

So, Nanonauts, how’d your first week go?

If you’re going at a steady clip of 1667 words a day you should be at 11,669. That’s more than 20% of your total. Good on ya.

If you’re blazing along you might be at 20K plus. Certainly possible. I know a few folks already at that point and beyond. Keep it up.

But what if you’re not? What if you’re at 2000 words? 3000? Or, god forbid, a big, fat, whopping ZERO?

Fret not you Literary Adventurer, you Wordcount Trailblazer! You can still pull this out of the bag.

You have 22 days left. Counting Thanksgiving, which I know some of you don’t celebrate, not being in the states and all. So let’s go with 22 days, shall we?

You will need 2273 words a day to hit 50K by the end of the month. Or, for those of you keeping score about 600 words more than if you’d started last week.

Totally doable. But, and this is the absolute, most important thing here. This is the thing that you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO NO SHIT if you want to reach that goal.


Now if that’s a little harsh for you, well, tough. Because that’s the truth. I get that life happens. We have day jobs. We have family commitments. We have tragedies and birthdays and celebrations and mourning. We have to take out the trash and do the dishes. We have doubts and fears and question our ability to write. We wonder what the point is. We deal with depression, screaming children, pets that get sick, relationships going sour or getting started. We all have shit. We all have lives.

If you want to do this then you need to carve out the time. No one’s going to give it to you. No one’s going to let you do it. You need to take it. You need to lose sleep and piss people off. You need to shove and push and rip the time away from something else because there’s ALWAYS. SOMETHING. ELSE.

I have a full time day job managing a software team that has people in California, Texas and India. I’m working 7 to 5 just like the rest of you. Monday was my birthday. Know what I did on my birthday besides that soul crushing job?

I finished and turned in a fucking novel.  Well, that and ate pizza.

If I can do this, and believe me I am a goddamn slacker, then you sure as shit can do it.

2273 words a day, folks. You can still make it. But you’ve got to push.

No go forth and be awesome.

  • I’m not doing Nano this year. I am writing some sales related stuff that’s completely boring to write. The key to it is following your advice. I put my butt in the chair and pump out my 3000 words per working day.


    Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)

    November 8, 2012

  • I’m highly motivated by my own laziness; I’ve been doing 2000+ a day so I don’t have to worry over my week-long Thanksgiving vacation. Which would be great if I didn’t think I might run out of story before 50K.

    Ellie Di

    November 8, 2012

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