Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Essential NaNoWriMo Chart

My friends, I am about to share with you the ultimate program to help you become a noveling machine. We all know that NaNoWriMo is all about the word count. Anyone who has NaNoed before can tell you -- we all know the keyboard shortcuts to the Word Count function in our word processing program of choice, and we have all checked our word count (again!) after writing a single measly sentence. It can become an obsession.

And sadly, this quest for an increased word count can sometimes lead to creative forms of procrastination. A writer may fall short of his daily goal for a few days... before you know it, instead of hitting the keyboard, this anxious soul is tapping at a calculator instead, figuring how many words are left and how many must be written each day from that point on in order to finish on time... or perhaps this writer got a great burst of energy one day and wrote over the daily quota, and is now trying to figure out if s/he can skip a day and still finish ahead of schedule... and of course, there's always the temptation to figure out the percentages: are you 33.3% done or only 29% ... ?

NO MORE! Quit wasting time -- get the NaNoWriMo Report Card spreadsheet and get back to writing! I discovered this program in 2005 -- all you need to enter is your total word count for any day (and, if you like, the amount of time you spent writing), and this insanely awesome spreadsheet will do all the work for you. If you're under your daily word count goal, the number will turn red. If you're over the quota, it will show up in green. Total remaining word count, adjusted words-per-day based on past progress, percent complete, the estimated date of completion, pie charts and line charts, it's all there! Embrace the statistical goodness, and never again waste time calculating your NaNo progress.

Thank you so much to Buster Benson for creating this script and for being willing to share it so freely. You are a rock star.

Click here to download your NaNoWriMo Report Card
(there's a "download now" button towards the bottom of that page, and it make take some time to load -- hey, it's a free site, they want you to read their ads)


  1. Wow, that is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is wonderful! I am downloading this as soon as I get home. I don't need anymore reasons to waste time.

    I love all your NaNo expertise, thanks for sharing.

  3. I'm so glad people are still using this spreadsheet. It definitely helped me get through my NaNoWriMos in 2001 and 2002...

  4. I LOVE Dr. Wicked's Write or Die thingy, where you write for 10 minutes straight or it tortures you with Hansen music? Right below the Write or Die gadget is a Catchup calculator for Nanowrimo that you can put on your page to figure up how many words you have to write to catch up once you're behind. That might come in handy too:


  5. Oh boy...now I'm a little worried about NaNo :D That's a cool little program. Once November comes I'll bet it will come in handy.

  6. What a cool program! Thanks for sharing it!

  7. I am following your blog based on this GREAT tip!

  8. I am participating for the first time in nanowrimo this year. so exciting..