We’re at the start of the 2019 NaNoWriMo and it’s worth thinking about what winning NaNoWriMo really is. There’s the somewhat arbitrary goal of writing 50,000 words during a single month. This breaks down to a solid 1,666.667 words per day. That is actually rather a lot. It can get worse. Maybe you miss a day, then you’re up to 1724 per day, or just a day where you force out a solid 3,332.
What if you have busy weekends, and thus you just don’t have time to write on the weekends? Then you’re up to 2380.95 words per weekday. That’s quite a lot.
We’re only on the second day and I’m already 100 words or so behind the goal of 1667 per day. But I’m not really concerned, because I’m going to a write-in later and I have a strong outline and I know I can do it.
And I also don’t care. While it’d be nice to get the words out each day and finish strong and have 50,000 on December 1st, I think there’s something even more important that can be got from NaNoWriMo, something to be had from harnessing all that positive energy and feedback and exposure to other dedicated writers. It’s a habit. A habit of writing every day (or every weekday, or every weekend day). For me my real goal, and a real NaNo win is about having the habit of writing every day. If you write for a half-hour a day it’s easypeasy to increase that a little bit, until you’re writing for a full hour every day, or two hours or four. Whatever you want. If you don’t write every day it’s not easypeasy at all to go to writing two hours a day. Its difficult, like difficult difficult lemon difficult.
So if you start to fall behind, or miss a day, or feel discouraged, don’t give up. It’s more important to get the habit of writing down, and the enjoyment of it, than to force yourself to finish some arbitrary number of words.