In just a few days from now, thousands of writers around the world will embark on a writing adventure. They will spend a whole month writing, their goal to finish their novel or reach 50000 words. Some spend months preparing, others just sit down and write. I’ve done both. This year, I’m not yet sure whether I’m doing either.
Not everyone uses Nanowrimo to get to 50000 words but if you do, keeping up with your writing on a daily basis is important. Miss a day or more and it doesn’t take long to get behind to the point where it can be hard to catch up by the end of the month.
The Nanowrimo website has tracking tools you can use to keep track of our progress. However, if you prefer to have a bit more detail about your progress, you may have to look elsewhere. There are numerous other tools out there that can help you keep track of your progress. Earlier this year, I decided it was time to make my own. Just in time for Camp Nanowrimo, I created a tracking spreadsheet that not only keeps track of your total word count but it also tells you how much you have to write on any given day based on your progress in prior days and the number of remaining days in the month. It’s simply called the Writing Log.
The Writing Log spreadsheet is the perfect for an event like Nanowrimo. It’s intended to be used for tracking goals on a monthly basis, whether it be 50000 or 5000.
Using it is simple. Set your goal for November and then record every writing session you have on a daily basis. It can be one per day or many per day, that’s all up to you. The Writing Log dashboard will then tell you how you’re doing.
The Writing Log is free to download and use. You can find it here:
If you feel adventurous and want to try something new, I’ve been working on an online version of the Writing Log. Incidentally, it’s called the Online Writing Log, or OWL. The idea behind the Online Writing Log is the same: you set a monthly goal, log your writing sessions and the app will tell you how much you need to write to finish by the end of the month.
The Online Writing Log is currently in beta, which means that there may be things that look strange from time to time. However, the basic tracking functionality is there and you’re absolutely welcome to try it out.
The Online Writing Log requires a modern web browser, such as Chrome or Firefox. It has not been tested on other browsers, such as Safari, Edge etc. You can register for a free account here:
Whether you end up using the Writing Log, OWL or some other tool all together doesn’t really matter. Use what works for you. The important thing is that once November 1 comes along, you write. Get that story you have written, get to 50000 if you can. If possible, finish your story! The important thing is that you write.
Good luck and happy writing!