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NaNoWriMo Day 17 - Pace of Writing


Sunday 17th November 2019 - Pace of Writing

I obsess over graphs.  I blame my dad – he was a maths teacher.  So it’s perhaps unsurprising that my page of choice on the NaNoWriMo website is the Stats page.  One of the reasons I’ve fought against doing NaNoWriMo for so long is because I have an obsessive nature and, when I start on something, I won’t let go until it’s done.  But thanks to a combination of NaNoWriMo and my obsessive gene, I’ve already completed one novel and I’m zooming through the second.

My NaNoWriMo project stats

One aspect I’ve really enjoyed is competing in writing sprints with two of my NaNoWriMo buddies (who are also my sisters!).  Being highly competitive, we write for 20 minutes to see who can write the most words.  I always lose.  No, I mean ABSOLUTELY always lose.  But it doesn’t matter because writing sprints have got me past some of the trickiest parts in my books, just because I want to be writing something.

And here's one I made earlier...

My favourite graph is the one which give you the predicted line.  I like to know what I’m aiming for, although given that my books average out at 110,000 the 50,000 target seems a bit tricky.  When I’m set a target, I do everything I can to obtain it – obsessively!  But the important part is knowing what pace is best to work at.  We’re all individuals, so our writing pace will be different from one another.

Here are a few things to remember about pacing your writing (I should probably take my own advice on some of these):
  1. Set a pace which works for you – if you’re working 9-5 every weekday, chances are you’re not going to be achieving 1667 words every day.  But that’s fine! Try and schedule in plenty more write-time over the weekend.
  2. The line is a guide – don’t be put off if you’re miles below the line.  You know your pace, if it’s slow just remember: the tortoise beat the hare!
  3. Having a buddy DOES help – I was doubtful when I read this on the NaNoWriMo page, but it turns out it’s true.  If you’re competitive it’s a driving force; if you’re unsure it’s a good way of getting help and ideas.
  4. The sky’s the limit, not 50,000 – Whether you’re aiming above or below, pace yourself accordingly.  50,000 words is only a recommendation, you can do as many or as few words as you like!


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