Graphic designer.

Aspiring author.

Hoarder of books.

Keeping Track of My Word Count

BegallieWriMoAfter last month’s extravaganza of writing, I have decided that keeping track of my daily word count and how many words I have left until I reach my goal helps me stay on track. In the past I have just written whatever amount of words whenever I felt like writing. I usually did not force myself to write when I was not in the mood, nor did I ever reach the word count goals I had set out for myself. And I have decided that this needs to stop!

After Camp NaNoWriMo ended and I was leaving my writing graph behind, my husband happened to ask me what kind of app he should program for fun. He was talking about an intercom type thing for our computers so we could just press a button and talk to one another from computer to computer, which is a great idea, but I interjected with an idea of my own. Why not make an app that has similar functionality as the NaNoWriMo graph, so that I can keep track all year round and not just in November or the Camp NaNo months?

Needless to say, he thought it was a great idea and started working on it right away. After about a week of obsessively working on the app in between work and other ordinary life events, my husband finished the app! It works great and I’ve only found one thing that I want to be fixed. (I can’t just press enter on my keyboard to update my current word count. I have to use my mouse! That extra second it takes could be spent writing!)

Now that my graph is up and running (which he aptly named “BegallieWriMo”), I have set my word count goal at 30,000 words to be completed by September 2nd since I head back to school on the 3rd. I haven’t written very much yet (as you can see in the screen shot), but – according to the app – I have to write 1071 words per day for the next 28 days. I’m confident I can do it. I reached my goal for Camp NaNo after all, so what’s another 30,000 words?

I Did It!!!!!!!

Camp Final UpdateI reached my Camp NaNoWriMo goal! I think it went rather well too. I fell behind during the second week but was able to catch up, and my graph went a little wobbly during the last week, but in the end I made it! My husband really helped me finish because he promised me Noodle Box and a Tim Horton’s mocha if I tried to finish a day early. So I wrote 3,277 words in one day and I finished it! And now I have over 25,000 words toward my first draft. Only 35,000 or so more words to go until my first draft is finished.

I feel really proud of myself. Also, I feel like I can keep it up! Like I can keep on writing everyday for the rest of the summer and reach my goal of a 60,000 word first draft by the time I go back to school. I do realize that with camp being over and done with I will most likely get a bit lax and I will need to push myself even harder for motivation. I know that I will end up procrastinating and my word count will drop, but I figure, I made it this far so I can and will make it even further!

I’m going to give myself a couple days off now that I am finished, so that I can catch up on chores and the other things I’ve shunned during the month of July. And then I am going to dive right back into my novel! I just want to get my first draft done so that I can go through and read what I have written (I know it is going to take a lot of revising before I let anyone else read it, but that is allowed for NaNoWriMo).

Sorry for all the exclamation marks but I am just super happy and enthusiastic!

If you also reached your Camp NaNoWriMo goal, congratulations! And if you just couldn’t make it to the end, that’s okay! You tried and now you have a starting point. Any words written are worth it!

I finally did it! Weeeeeeeeeeee!

Camp NaNoWriMo Update!

Wordcount for July 20Well, over the last few days I have had some encouragement from my husband and some friends and I was able to up my word count and catch up to where I should be! I’ve got less than 9000 words to write to reach my Camp NaNo goal and I am feeling confident again that I will reach that goal. But there are a few days coming up that I will not really have time to write (maybe a couple hundred words if I am lucky). So, now that I am caught up, I have another obstacle to overcome – I need to get ahead!

I’ve always found that having a set goal for word count helps me keep myself moving along. But I also find, that when I set those goals, they begin to limit me. I find it difficult to motivate myself to write beyond my goal. I will be writing away and getting into a groove when suddenly I hit the magical number that I needed to reach for the day, and I just stop.

I’ve tried not setting a goal at all, but then I fail to write almost anything. I’ve tried telling myself that if I get ahead then I can have a day off from writing but then I think “well, couldn’t I just take that time off now instead?” and close the document and continue my day. Nothing I try works!

Well, I’m going to try to guilt myself into writing more today. Maybe I will withhold food for myself until I reach a certain word count? That should work, right? I won’t die, will I? Hmm, maybe I need some better ideas… If you happen to have any, please leave them as a comment below!

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