NaNoWriMo 2017, Week 1 progress report

It’s Day 6 of NaNoWriMo, and we’re heading into the first full week of the challenge!

So, how’s your word count? Mine has been pretty consistent, so I’m excited about that. It looks like my Preptober work this year has been paying off. Who knew a reformed Pantser could learn to love outlining?

Here’s a brief roundup of my first five days’ worth of word counts, in case you’re curious:

    • Day 1: 1,760 words
    • Day 2: 1,498 words
    • Day 3: 1,775 words (with a bunch of outlining also accomplished at the NaNo Support Group!)
    • Day 4: 1,822 words
    • Day 5: 0 words

That comes out to a grand total of 6,855 words thus far. Compared to where I should be at by Day 5 (which is the 8,335 word mark), I’m one day behind. That makes sense, since I took Sunday off! But I’m eager to catch up today, and hit my goal of 10,002 words by midnight tonight, and I think I can do it.

Doubling up for one day shouldn’t be too difficult, as I’ve done it before in NaNos Past, but it’s obviously easier to keep up with your word counts if you stay on track every day and at least write something instead of nothing. Next weekend I will do my best not to make the same mistake!

Word Tracking

Although I love updating the NaNoWriMo site with my word counts each day, I’ve also been using Boho Berry’s NaNoWriMo Tracker to chart my progress. I really get a kick out of writing down my numbers for the day and color coding my highs and lows, so thank you to Kara for creating this lovely and useful printable. You can download your own copy for free, just by joining her Tribe, which I also highly recommend if you’re into planning or Bullet Journaling.

Writing Software

One of the biggest questions folks at my write-in had was What writing software do you use?

In case you are also curious, I told them that I mostly use Scrivener for my novel writing projects. I really like its flexibility when it comes to setting up a big project. You can easily break your chapters into different pages or documents, see everything you’ve already written at a glance, and move things around with just a drag and drop of the mouse. They even have an iPad version (which I haven’t yet tried), so you can sync between your computer and your tablet.

If you haven’t tried Scrivener yet, and tend to get lost in an incredibly long Word document (or folder full of confusingly-named docs!) during NaNoWriMo season, I’d highly recommend giving it a try. They even offer a 30-day free trial period during NaNoWriMo because so many NaNo novelists love their software.

Another program I often recommend for writers using an iPad to write on the go is Daedalus. Before Scrivener came out with their iOS version this year, I’d been using this app to draft tons of stories and blog posts in coffee shops or at the library. It’s been great, as you can either email your work to yourself when you’ve finished writing for the day, or you can sync with Dropbox to save your files there.

Unfortunately it seems they’ve recently stopped supporting Dropbox syncing, and are offering users the chance to switch over to another product by the same company called Ulysses. I’m not a fan of paying for my writing software on a monthly subscription basis (yet another reason I love Scrivener; it’s a one-and-done purchase), but at only $4.99 a month (or $39.99/year if paid in a lump sum) this might be a useful alternative for those who prefer to write on the go and want to sync across multiple computers or tablets. (One caveat: It’s only available for Mac products.)

Of course, as one of the write-in attendees pointed out, the best software to use is the one that’ll get you writing. Whether you are writing with TextEdit or Word or Google Docs, scribbling with a pen and paper, or even dictating into your phone when you need to be hands-free, the best way to write is however you will actually get the writing done. I personally use Scrivener to wrangle everything together in one place, but I use a wide variety of software, as well as trusty pen and paper, to get my writing done. Then I pull it all together in Scrivener, where it can be much more easily manipulated, edited, poked, polished and eventually published.

So, don’t get lost on a quest to find The Perfect Writing Software; just pick something that works and get ‘er done!

Got NaNoWriMo Questions?

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