Meeting a daily word count was easy during NaNoWriMo, or easier. Now that November is long gone, I’ll be the first to admit that my daily word counts are suffering.
Why is it easier to meet daily word counts during NaNoWriMo?
NaNo is only a month long. It’s easy to put your personal life aside for one month. Plus, there’s a score of other people also sacrificing their lives for the common goal of 1,667 words a day. But for me, the progress bar was what really helped. I didn’t want to miss a day and risk falling below the ‘where you should be’ line. And so I stayed up an extra hour, or spent my lunch hour writing, or skipped the gym here and there. And then November ended, and so did many of my sacrifices.
How to keep that momentum going?
Recently, I learned about an online program called 750words.com. What’s great about 750words.com is that, like NaNo, it tracks your daily word counts. Unlike NaNo, the daily goal is more realistic for every day writers – only 750 words. Additionally, you write directly into the program and the program tracks not only your word counts, but how quickly you reach your word count, the tone of your writing, common topics, commonly used words, etc. Not only are the stats fun, but knowing that I’m being timed keeps me from wandering to other websites or just plain wandering.
In keeping with the recent trends in mobile gaming, you can also earn badges for things like reaching your word count several days in a row or reaching your word counts in a timely fashion. Plus, there is a community surrounding the site, so you can follow other writers, like you would with NaNo. And every month offers members the chance to participate in a monthly challenge where you are challenged to reach your word goal every day of the month. Winners are added to the Wall of Amazingness whereas losers find themselves on the Wall of Shame and remain there until successfully winning a month challenge.
The one negative is that you have to write on the site. Whereas with NaNo you just entered in your new word count for the day, 750words determines your word count and typing speed based off of how much you write into the text box that is provided when you login for the day. You can always just copy and paste the text into your own word processor, or use the sites text exporter, but if you have a hard time focusing in an unfamiliar environment, this could pose a problem.
The site also archives your writing. While I have no problem with this and actually like the idea of having a backup sitting in cyberspace, I know this could makes some writers uncomfortable.
If you are looking for a way to get your writing momentum back, though, why not give 750words a try? The worst you’ll get out of it is an additional 750 words. The best you’ll get is a new time management/motivation tool. If you give it a try, or if you are already using 750words, what do you think of it as a writing tool?