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
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!