Modified Reverse NaNo

I’ve done National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) about 7 times now. The goal is to write 50,000 in a month. That’s the lion’s share of a novel, or just about perfect for a novella. It can be done by writing 1,167 words a day, every day, for a month. This year, my friend Jean put a blog post she’d read on her Facebook page about doing NaNo backwards. The idea is to start with high word counts at the beginning and decrease them each day until, on the last day, your word count goal is 1. I loved the idea, but my schedule this month is a little more compressed than usual. I’ll be out of town for a few days in the middle of the month and will have company for a week for Thanksgiving. I can write that week if I have to and my friends will understand, but I won’t get anything done while I’m out of town. It’s just the way it is.

Here’s how my daily goals shake out. I’ve blocked out the days I’m gone, Thanksgiving week, and my birthday. That leaves me 19 days to write my 50,000 words. The first 9 days will be the worst; I have to do over 3800 words a day, every day. The goals go down a little after that. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sustain that many words a day, but the beauty of it is that I don’t have to take my birthday or Thanksgiving week off. I can use them for catch-up days. I will take Thanksgiving day off, but I do that every year.

That’s all there is to it. In case anyone cares, I expect I’ll be continuing a schedule similar to this until about Christmas. I’m shooting for 80,000 words in my current book, so it won’t be done this month, but I’m determined to actually finish this one. I’m hoping that six weeks of more or less continuous writing will cement it as a habit I’ll be able to sustain over the long haul.

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