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My Writing Motto

Now that NaNoWriMo 2020 is behind me, I have had time to reflect on what made me succeed. I’ve already blogged about the prep work I did, which guided me through the scenes. But what made me sit down every day and produce?

People who know me, know I am a big fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. They have a tradition where the players slap the sign as they exit the locker room to run out onto the field. The sign says “Play Like a Champion Today.” To motivate myself, I placed a sticky note on the cover of my laptop which told me to “Write Like a Champion Today.” Every time I opened my laptop, I was reminded I could do good work.

I also kept track of my daily word count. Since I write in Scrivener, I used a word count tracker that came with the template. Also, I entered my daily word count on the NaNoWriMo web site, but the third place I posted was a calendar I kept on my desk to track my writing and other commitments (such as Notre Dame games.)

This latter format gave me an overview of how my production went during the month. I started out writing as many words as I could because I knew life could always interfere. I needed a cushion of extra words to buffer me on the days I didn’t produce the magic 1,667 number you need daily to meet the goal. Yes, I did end up relying on that protection.

My highest word count occurred on the first day at 2,724. The excitement to be writing this book propelled me. My lowest of 199 was on my last day of November 29 to hit the 50K, when I had to write the ending paragraphs showing the Happily Ever After of my hero and heroine. Since I write romance, the HEA is a genre requirement. It was an easy ending to write, since I was experiencing happiness at the same time for achieving my goal.

Below is the calendar I used, showing my daily word count tracking.

My NaNoWriMo Word Count Calendar