5 Tips for Setting and Meeting Goals for NaNoWriMo

All of us have the same ultimate goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Anyone who tells you it is easy is a robot and should not be trusted. Not all of us have the ability to sit down everyday for 30 days and pound out a novel. Life, writer’s block, Instagram, fluffy puppy videos, the thread on your sweater, staring endlessly at the corner of your room – lots of things can get in the way of our ability to write.

So, given that we can’t predict the future (if you can, please let us know), it’s important to set manageable goals to best tackle the words. Before even starting to write, hopefully you’ve taken some time to prepare your writing project so you’re ready to hit the ground running.

If you’re ready to start writing, we’ve outlined 5 tips to help you set some goals and hit that sought after 50,000 words in 30 days.

1) Break It Down

Like most big and daunting tasks, the best way to tackle them is to break them down into smaller pieces. 50,000 words is a lot, or more specifically, it’s 1666.67 words per day.

The best way to break it down is take that monthly goal and turn it into weekly goals. Then take that weekly goal and turn it into daily goals. It’s a lot easier to sit down and say, ‘I’m going to write 2,000 words today’ than ‘I have to write as many as possible to get to 50,000’.

Another way to break it up is make chapter goals. Tell yourself you’re going to write two chapters today and the word count will work itself out.

2) Create a Schedule

You don’t have to write everyday. Like we said earlier, life gets in the way. When setting your goals pull out your November schedule. If you’re really busy one week, don’t set you word goal so high. If you’re sitting at home all weekend, give yourself a 5,000 goal. Don’t set goals when you literally have no way of achieving them. This is just defeating and may make it harder to find motivation later.

3) Adjust As Needed

It’s okay to change your goals as you go. If you set a goal of 3,000 words today and only wrote 2,200 and hit a writer’s block, that’s okay. Tomorrow you might write 4,000. Goals are just there to set guidelines and give you a direction. You can also change goals as your schedule changes or inspiration hits. Don’t let them restrict you.

4) Tell a Friend Your Goals

There is no better way to keep yourself accountable to your goals than having someone else hold you to them. Trust us, the only reason we’re both actually accomplishing writing this NaNoWriMo this year is because of the other. Also, if you and your friend are both participating, a little fun competition never hurt anyone. Who can get to 50,000 first? Use your friends to push yourself and each other.

5) Be Forgiving

At the end of the day, NaNoWriMo is just a chance to show up to your pen and paper or laptop and write. It’s a chance to challenge yourself, to get wrapped up in your story, to complete something, or to just finally get past chapter two. Don’t be hard on yourself and just be proud that you showed up to write today.

Are your participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, share your projects with us, we’d love to find more writing friends and maybe help keep each other motivated!



2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Setting and Meeting Goals for NaNoWriMo

  1. This is a really fantastic post for people trying to do NaNo this year – it’s never worked for me personally because I have a different sort of writing style but it’s a great event for many writers. I definitely think point 4 is the most important.


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