Just like the title says novels are hard. They take a lot of work, sometimes getting the words out for them can be like scraping the inside of your brain with a sieve.
I’ve always found NaNoWriMo to be helpful in boosting my writing output just as I really love the updating chart of my word-goal for the month and seeing the word count go up comparative to the goal (and obviously it feels great when you can see it climb above the goal word count). I realise that it would be easy enough to recreate that in Googledocs or Excel I’ve never gotten around to it…
Anyway, on a recent reddit post about how user mrjaa tracks their novel progress another user (Jermaclus) piped up with their own method which is essentially a NaNoWriMo website clone where you can set your own deadlines and targets for books.
Here’s a link and transcription of the comment:
Great idea! I built a NaNoWriMo-esque clone that is basically a glorified version of your spreadsheet called Novels Are Hard. It lets you define deadlines and calculates stats based on your inputs and deadline. How many words per day to hit your deadline, etc.
Feel free to check it out. Totally free.
I’ve signed up and have already started tracking the progress of my current project (which I happened to start again a couple of days before I found this) and I love it.
For me, it plugs the gaps where NaNoWriMo falls short. I’ve always found that NaNoWriMo is a sprint (which is fine) but as soon as I fall a little short and fall behind I completely lose my motivation and it becomes a slog to try and catch up. With the Novels Are Hard website the pace is slower, a more reasonable and realistic pace for me, as the deadline is less than just one month (even if the goal is higher) and it still gives me the same stats.
And for me the best part is the progress graph.
I just love the two columns and watching them compete with each other and this time at my own pace rather than at the breakneck speed of NaNoWriMo which I find a little too fast to be comfortable.
Novels Are Hard is a great alternative, free, and (barring the community) seems to do just as well as the NaNoWriMo website for tracking the novel.
Given that I’ve been enjoying it so much so early I thought it would be a shame not to share in case other people would find it as great as I do!