Lessons From NaNo ~ Perserverance

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today with the third in my Lessons from NaNo series. To read the first part, click here. You can access part two by clicking this link.

Today’s post is the shortest of the series, but probably the most important if you want to reach your word count goal. Perseverance.

In order to get off to a good start, I took a day of vacation on November 1. I wrote over 3000 words for the first two days. After that, my daily word count decreased. A few days, I exceeded 2000, but most were under that mark. My lowest day before reaching the 50K mark was 305.

Because I’m a visual person, I modified my word count spreadsheet a bit for NaNo. I love using Excel, so I applied simple conditional formatting to keep me on track. Here’s a screenshot:

Green = goal met. Red = goal not met. That may not seem like much, but seeing that cell change from red to green helped spur me to write more. The NaNoWriMo site also had a place to enter your daily word count. It would tell you what day you would reach the 50K mark if you continued at the current pace. Believe me, I didn’t like seeing I would reach my goal until December.

Some of the passages I wrote are pure garbage. Not to say they can’t be revised, but I had to turn off my internal editor. That’s hard for me because I like to edit as a write.

Having writing buddies was also a big encouragement. The quote, “No man is an island,” certainly applies here. Writers often tend to be introverted, but don’t be afraid to reach out to others. Whether it’s during NaNoWriMo or for any project, having who understands the writing process is a huge help. Find someone—a friend, a critique partner, a family member who will encourage you.

The key to success is to set your goal and stick with it. Write if you don’t feel like it. Keep going when you want to quit. With a little persistence, you can cross the finish line!

I hope this series has been helpful to you. And if you’re so inclined, there is Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July. During those events, you can set your own goal. Maybe I’ll see you there.

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