One of the things I like best about Nanowrimo is the way that it breaks an enormous task down into smaller parts. Obviously, if you write 1,667 words per day for the entire month of November, you wind up with 50,000 words (a short novel!) by the end of the month. That’s the goal.
To hit the goal, I have to write an average of 1950 words a day to make up for the days that I… uhm… slacked off? mental health day? hit empty working on my day job? Didn’t count words from blog posts, or other projects? Well, whatever.
But even if you fall short of the goal, Nanowrimo tells you how long it will take to complete that same short novel, at the rate of speed that you’re going.
It goes from being something huge and impossible to being something… manageable.
I’m behind, right now. Not horribly, unspeakably behind… but at least a few days behind. Instead of just telling me to hurry up, and catch up, the algorithm informs me that at this rate of speed, I will finish my project on December 16th.
It’s not the 30th of November… but it’s not some abstract, dim and distant future, either.
And if I were working on a full-length, commercial novel? By the end of January. The first time you did it, did you really think that writing the first draft of a novel could be that quick?
I’ll have usable short stories before then. I can revise and send out one part of this project before I finish the whole thing.
I’m having a better time focusing with Nano than without it. I have a way of sweeping things like short story writing under the rug. Then, I forget about it until someone pokes me with a stick. (Hey. It’s Halloween. Story time.) It’s not the big, dramatic project in my world.
Okay. So, I’m off to write my 1950 words for the day.
Maybe I can still win the Nano-Cup.