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October 22, 2004

NaNoWriMo Report Card

Hey, have you started planning your NaNo novel yet? You only have about one week to get an outline or some plot ideas in your head before the mad dash begins! As part of your preparation, be sure to check out the NaNo report card (scroll down or do a find—no permalinks on the page). It's an Excel worksheet that has the whole month of novel-writing all set up for you. All you have to do is enter your daily word count (and how many hours you spent writing that day, if you want), and it will automatically calculate helpful information, such as how many words you have left to reach your 50k goal, how many words/day you'll need to write to reach that goal by the end of Nov., and when you'll finish your novel if you continue writing at your current pace. It even plots your progress on a graph and a pie chart! A detail-tracker's dream! The report card provides a little more insight into what NaNo is all about. People take it very seriously, but they also have lots of fun with it. I'm telling you, if you're thinking you'd like to write a novel (or even a long short story), but think you don't have it in you or you can't spare the time, you should just throw all caution to the wind like I'm doing and commit to spending every spare minute in Nov. during which your brain is functional writing. You will be very glad you did. Every year for the last three I get around to about now and I'm excited about trying to write a novel in a month, but I also start to worry and think about all the reasons why I really shouldn't even try. And then, inevitably, the thing that pushes me to launch into the madness yet another time is the memories of WriMo's past, the caffienated late nights and early mornings and stolen moments between classes or other projects, the hours in coffee shops w/L. writing, watching people, writing, thinking big thoughts about my future as a rockstar novelist, writing, hating the writing, writing more, playing solitaire in the hope that some idea will spring into my head for the next scene, writing more, more coffee, more writing, more juggling other stuff that I don't really care about for the month of November, more writing more writing more writing. And maybe it doesn't sound fun to everyone, but it's really a tremendous feeling, for one short month each year, to put writing first among all the other things that compete for my time and attention. Or, if not first, then much much higher on the list than usual. Oh, and this year, there's another reason to write: Writing can be good therapy, and no matter how this election turns out, I think we're all going to need some of that come Nov. 3rd or so.

Posted October 22, 2004 09:06 AM | NaNoWriMo

Amen to that and whee, I can't wait.

Posted by: Sui Generis at October 25, 2004 12:02 PM

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