Camp NaNoWriMo is once again approaching. Writers throughout the world are gearing up for a month of intense writing. Outlines have been drafted, background material researched and characters crafted. There are just hours left until the frenzy begins. The goal: write a novel in a month.
For those that have participated in Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo, you know it can be an intense experience. Not only do you have to find the time to write about 1700 words every day but you also have to have something to write about. All of this can be easier said than done for some people. This is where the Camp NaNoWriMo Writing Log comes in.
As those with past experience knows, the NaNoWriMo website contains its own tracking of your progress. As a participant, you should absolutely use this to keep an official record of how you’re doing. However, the tracking done through the official site is pretty basic and doesn’t give you a whole lot more information about how you’re doing. This is especially true if you’re just starting out writing novels. Questions like how much time you’re spending writing your novel, what days work the best, how much you’re able to do every hour can’t be answered by just recording a number. The Writing Log can.
The Writing Log contains a number of helpful features that are intended to help you not just get to 50000 words in a month but also grow as a writer.
- Dynamic word targets – did you know that to get to 50000 words in one month, you have to write about 1667 words every day? Simple, right? If you start missing days, it’s easy to lose track of how much you have to write to still make it. I’ve been there. On the flip side, what if you’re able to write 3000 words one day? What do you need for the next day? The Writing Log takes all of this into account and gives you daily target based on what you have (or haven’t) written so far. You’ll always know exactly where you are and what’s left to do in the month and for any particular day.
- Record multiple sessions every day – many logs tend to limit the information you can record by day into just one entry. One for April 1st, one for April 2nd and so on. With the Writing Log, you can add as many sessions for a day as you like. Feel like writing 200 words a a time throughout the day? You can record each one separately. Simply add the same date and the individual durations and by the end of the day, you’ll see how much you wrote for the whole day. You don’t have to write it all in one sitting!
- The days you write – by recording the dates you write on, you’ll also be able to tell what days you write on, how many words all together and what your average word count for those days are. How is this helpful? If you’re like me and have limited time, this can help you understand what days you can maybe squeeze in more writing. It will also help you plan for future projects as you’ll better understand what days are good to write on.
- Writing session duration – the Writing Log will allow you to record the amount of time you’re spending on your writing.
- Cross-platform compatible – the Writing Log has been tested spreadsheet apps across multiple platforms and works with Microsoft Excel, both Windows and Mac (at least Excel 2008 for Mac), Google Docs (Sheets) and Libre Office (tested on 5.3.1),
- Limited data points to track – you only need to track three items: 1) the date, 2) the word count and 3) the duration of your writing session.
What are the benefits of tracking what you write, besides spending time plugging numbers into a spreadsheet?
Celebrate your victories! I know from experience that it’s extremely satisfying to see your novel pass that 50000 word threshold and know you’re made it. All those hours, all that planning, it all paid off.
Have a clear target! It’s one thing to know you have to get to 50000 in 30 days but knowing exactly what you have to do each day will help give you a clear target day by day to get where you need to go.
Plan for the future! By tracking how you’re doing, you also collect data that can help you in the future. As mentioned above, what days do you write best on? How much can you manage every hour? With data like this, you can better plan your writing in the future, especially if you have a set target to reach.
Stay motivated! This goes with celebrating victories. Really, every day you get to your goal, you can tell yourself that yes, you can do it, you can get to 50000, one step at a time.
So where can you get this log? Well, I’m glad you asked. Camp NaNoWriMo Writing Log is free to download for all those ready to write a novel (and everyone else). Please click the button below to review the information about the Writing Log and to download it.
Note: since April is behind us, this spreadsheet has been replaced with a generic one that’s suitable for any month. The button below will take you to that spreadsheet. Functionally, it’s the same as the April NaNoWriMo log with a few updates.
Once you get around to checking it out, please, let me know how you like it (or not). Note that I’ll create a separate version for the next Camp NaNoWriMo where you can easily change the date yourself. It will also be available on this site not too far into the future.
Now, go get that file and get ready to write!