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This week is the start of my second week doing my first NaNoWriMo. To my utter astonishment, I actually put up a lot of words during these past eight days. My total for the first week is 16,000 words. I stopped this Sunday at a nice round number, which gives me a little bit of a cushion toward the 50,000 word goal at the end of the month.
To achieve this, I’ve used some of the productivity tricks I’ve learned over the years. They’re listed below:

  1. I leave my laptop open all day, so it’s easy to just pop by and quickly insert a sentence or two while I am busy doing other household tasks. Those short bursts help keep the momentum going.
  2. I prefer to write using Scrivener. Everyone talks about the steep learning curve, which does exist, but once you’re acquainted with some of the tools, your writing flows. For example, I recently learned about using the Scratchpad. For the book’s scenes that I know, I write down all the information I have: snippets of dialogue, actions, emotions, etc. Then these inspirations are not lost and are available when I write that portion. Some of this work I did earlier; sometimes I do this just before a writing session.
  3. Many years ago, I read an inspiring blog post on Jennifer Lyon’s author blog. She interviewed best-selling author Carrie Ann Ryan about how she tracks her daily production. (See blog post here: https://jenniferlyonbooks.com/2016/03/21/writing-sprints-by-carrie-ann-ryan/) Ms. Ryan lists the word count she wants to achieve by writing the numbers down on a piece of paper in 1,000 word increments. Then throughout the day, as she reaches that number, she records the time she did so.
Carrie Ann Ryan’s Word Count Tracker

I slightly modified this tactic for myself. One thousand words seemed like too many, so I selected 500 words at a time as my goal.


Several times a day, I decide to write my next 500 words. I record the time I start, type like mad, and stop after I reach at least 500 words. Sometimes I go passed that number, but I do write down my finishing time. Somewhere I heard you can calculate your words per hour, if you know how fast you produced them. I haven’t worked that calculation, yet. Too busy writing my book.