What’s my biggest fear? Is it heights, clowns, or spiders? During NaNoWriMo nothing is as terrifying as (brace yourself) falling behind on my word count. In order to avoid this frightening experience this year, I’ve been using three techniques to help me keep my word count on track.
1. Word wars
Word wars are when two or more writers agree on a time (anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes typically) and battle each other to see how many words they can write in that amount of time. Whoever gets the higher amount wins! A little friendly competition really helps me to stay on task and focus on writing. It also helps me write more as I push myself to get the top word count.
2. Racing myself for rewards
I’m a very easily distracted writer. A little detail here, a character name there and I’ve wasted an hour on the internet and only written 400 words. That’s why I’ve started timing and rewarding myself. I’ll tell myself to try and write X amount of words in X amount of time, and then I can have a reward, like check my favorite NaNo forum threads, watch a YouTube video, or any other small, fun activity that will motivate me. I’m less distracted because I have both the timer and the reward in mind, and as an added bonus, I’ve found that most times, once I’ve started, I’d rather just keep writing.
3. Stick to my daily goal
A lot of Wrimoers (NaNoWriMo participants) tend to write a whole bunch at the beginning of the month, and then write less as the month goes on and end up getting behind in their word count. I prefer to sit down and write my daily NaNo word count (1,667 words) every day. Instead of getting behind in the middle of the month, I’m right on target the entire time. For me, it’s also nice knowing that as long as I write 1,667 words a day, I will win NaNo. That really keeps me motivated and on schedule.
What are your methods for keeping your word count on track? Let me know in the comments below!