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The goal during NaNoWriMo is fairly cut and dry. During the 30 days that make up November, participants complete a manuscript that is a minimum of 50,000 words in length. Now, you may want to stand back while I do some math because this could get messy. I believe that works out to roughly 1,667 words a day. That is a pretty substantial word haul in a single day. It's not outrageous production, but it is a healthy dose of story day in and day out.


The best way to achieve this somewhat lofty goal is to set milestones that can serve as guideposts to your final destination. My recommendation is to give yourself four milestones per day to reach. Cut the daily word count goal into four parts. Basically, I'm recommending that you cut your workload down into four achievable goals. Each goal is set at 420 words. After you reach the 420 word mark, give yourself a small reward. It doesn't matter what it is, but make it something that will help you relax and decompress. If you follow this strategy, you'll have 50,000 in 29 days.


Whatever you do, avoid the weekly milestone. The temptation will be to fall short of your daily word count goal by telling yourself you can make it up the next day or the day after that. You'll convince yourself that it doesn't matter as long as you reach your weekly goal. This philosophy is bound to leave you frustrated when those unfinished days keep adding up, and you're faced with trying to catch up.


NaNoWriMo isn't that daunting if you pare it down into manageable workloads. Give yourself frequent milestones so you'll stay on task and feel the progress as you go along.


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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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