Tracking your Progress

Since many of my writer friends are NaNo-ers, or at least have a similar mindset, I have a question to put to you.

When you’re trying to decide how much to try to write in a month, do you think of it first on a “per day” basis, or a “for the month” basis?  The two are related, but not equivalent.

For instance, the NaNo goal is 50k words over the month; it is not 1,667 words per day.  Why?  If I write 10,000 words a day for the first five days, I have won NaNo.  I can write zero words for the rest of the month.  A goal of “1,667 words per day” for the month would mean that, no matter how much I have written previously, I still need to get those words in for that day.

I really wanted to fill in an “at least” in talking about how much I wanted to write for the day, though it would be just as accurate to do so for the month-long goal.

I think which I tend to think in depends on what month it is.  During NaNo, I plan it out day by day (or week by week, something I experimented with last year).  For Camps, and most months, my goal is, say “Write 60k words”.  I could, if I were crazy, wait until the last few days and do it all then and still feel just as accomplished.  During NaNo, the pressure (from myself) to hit my daily story goals is there.

Also, I know I was talking about word count here, mostly because that’s what I use when estimating how far into a book I am and such.  If you use another metric (scenes or chapters or what have you), feel free to substitute that in the above question.  I care more about how you think of your goals than what you measure them with.

So!  Which do you tend to do more?  Fine grained, or overall for the month?

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