(last edited on October 26, 2015 at 6:19 am)
While I am not participating in National Novel Writing Month AKA NaNoWriMo this year, I’ve gotten several requests to update the word-counting calendar from last year! I’m quite fond of it, so I updated it and made some improvements; skip to the end of this post for the download link!
If you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it’s a world-wide effort by thousands of writers to bang out a rough draft of a novel in 30 days. It happens every November, and the goal is to write a minimum 50,000 words. They don’t have to be good words, because the underlying premise of NaNoWriMo is getting unstuck and writing! It’s the habit that writers must develop! It doesn’t hurt that there are prizes you can qualify for. For example, last year I got a big fat discount on Scrivener, a product that I totally love and use for all my exploratory writing.
Last year’s success (other than uploading my words to the nanowrimo website) is evidenced by the last year’s calendar (above). I learned how to be productive just by doing something every day…a lesson that can be supported with a powerful word-counting calendar at your side! :-)
The calendar covers the month of November, helping you track word counts and visualize your daily writing effort. The visualization is done by filling-in boxes that represent 250 words of writing, which are piled in a pyramid shape. If you fill in at least 7 of them to get to the first plateau of 1750 words, that’s enough to comfortably finish in 30 days IF you are writing every day. There are a couple higher boost levels: 2250 for writing just on 5 days a week (e.g. Monday-Friday), and 2500+ for people who want to fill-in that last block when they blow the curve.
At the end of the week, there’s a progress box that helps you assess how well you’re doing. Add-up the word counts from the week, and use the information to get a feel of how screwed you are :-)
This Year’s Improvements
There is always room for improvement, so this year I made the following changes:
- Addition of a “daily word count” box for each day.
- Simplification of the “progress summary” boxes at the end of each week to require less math.
- Addition of a “2500+” label, for those amazing days when you blow by your minimum word count. Feel proud!
- New prompts for the 25%, 50%, and 75% calendar days.
- Encouraging cheesy prompts for Sunday.
- Highlighting the last week of the month.
The calendar is designed for US 8.5 x 11 inch paper, but it should work fine on A4 if you “scale to fit” when printing. The margins are a little more generous this year too, for people who prefer to bind their calendars.
Download NaNoWriMo Tracking Calendar
Download NaNoWrimo Calendar PDF
Having trouble saving? Right-click or option-click and choose “save link as” if you are having trouble saving the file.
This is free to use for non-commercial purposes…print it out and spread it around! Enjoy, and have a great NaNoWriMo!
Thank you, David! I’ve been waiting for this!
But… But… What do we do for Next month??? :) Keep up the good work. Looking for a perpetual one of these.
Sara: Awesome! Have a great NaNoWriMo!
Guy: I’m planning on doing an entire year through 2014, but haven’t set up the production file workflow yet. There are some tweaks I need to make to the underlying design setup to make it work smoothly.
What an attractive and useful form! Thank you so much for putting this together.
Thank you so much!
Thank you, Dave. This is fantastic!
This is fabulous, Dave. I love visual stuff. I’m partnering with my local library to encourage writers to take part in Nano. The library is providing space, and I’m doing some prompts at the start to fire up their engines. All welcome, all free. Would you be okay with it if I copied a bunch of these and handed them out?
Gwynn: Feel absolutely free to share it at the library!
This is an excellent resource for those that enjoy using paper to track their progress. I’m going to be sharing this with my region! Thank you for all your hard work on designing this.
Love this – I will enjoy sharing it with my writers for this month! Thank you.
An amazing resource, thank you so much! I’m embarking on NaNoWriMo for the first time this year (and recently written about my terror of it on my blog). Still, I’m determined to crack it and your calendar is already printed and has pride of place on the wall next to my computer. Fingers crossed it gets me over the finishing line :)
This calendar is fantastic! It sure beats the digital sticky notes I used for the past 2 years.
Thank you! Amy :-)
Ah! I used your calendar last year and lost your link, so I’m glad I found you that you made a calendar for this year! Thank you!
Thanks so much for sharing this, Dave! What a great way to track. ~ Viola
Thank you so much for this!
I love this so much! Thank you from someone who has tried so many excel spreadsheets and ended up writing my daily totals on the back of one of my old manuscript pages. Guess I’m just old school and like checking boxes and writing with a pen or mechanical pencil!
I saw about that you are putting together something like this for 2014! I want that! I just liked your FB page to keep track of what you’re doing.
Great website by the way. My degree is Mech. Engr. and brings back lots of memories of a product design class I had to take.
Thanks so much for this! I am leading a workshop on Nanowrimo in early November and this will be fantastic to explain the required output and encourage people! Have you heard of “write or die”? Also excellent for motivation…;-)
This is so useful. I’m printing out a copy as we speak/type. Thank you!
Thank you so much for posting this! It was linked in the NaNo Facebook group and it’s a perfect background for my November adventures– I’ll just be adding the numbers and coloring digitally, so that way it’s always with me! :)
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This is fantastic!!!
I’m an academic. I should write most every month of the year. I would love it if: – It was possible to download/buy a calendar for 2014 (all 12 months) – It was possible to use a template and adapt/shift the calendar to each month forever.
I notice that you say that you are working on it, but how do I/we get to know when you are finished?
This is Epic!! Is it ok to print a few out to take to write ins with me; for anyone who may want or need one!!
Jazz: Of course you may! Anything to get the wrimo going!
Thanks for updating your calendar. Very handy!
Thanks David. Just what I was hoping for!
I love this. Thank you for updating it.
Perfect! First time Nano-ing, and I didn’t even know I needed this ’til I saw it. Thanks a bunch! :D
thanks! i’m gonna print this out now. concrete help to combat my resistance and aid in lessening procrastination. (i hope!!)
You, my very new friend, are an genius. It is now printed! :) Excellent idea! I shall upload in paint an use as a digital version to for fb feed :)
So simple, yet genius. Thanks Dave.
Thanks for this! Excited to start using it!! :)
Thank you! Downloaded and shared with a couple of other friends. We’re all nano newbies and are staring at this month like deer in headlights.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
What a great idea. I think I will have to borrow it. I know it will keep me motivated and might inspire additional writing to meet certain number goals.
Just want to say I LOVE THIS CALENDAR! I’m a visual person, and filling up the boxes each day makes me feel really good about what I’m doing (and helps shut up the inner editor). Any progress on calendars for the rest of the year yet?
Thanks so much for this, Dave! I wrapped up NaNo yesterday and your calendar was a really big help. Normally, I make up a dorky little spreadsheet so I can keep track of my progress, but using your calendar was a lot easier and a way better visual! Can’t wait for your year long calendar for 2014!
I just started working on the year-long calendar for 2014, and am wondering what people who have requested this would really like to see! If you have something to say, leave a comment on this post about the work in progress…thanks!