National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is around the corner, and a few weeks ago I discovered a tool in my writing program that makes achieving 50,000 words in a month seem way more reasonable. It’s the Project Targets tool in Scrivener. (If you haven’t heard of Scrivener, I encourage—nay, beg—you to check out that link. It’s the best $40 I’ve spent on basically anything ever.) The Project Targets tool breaks down a full maniscript word count goal into daily amounts, and keeps track of what you need to add every day to meet the ultimate goal.
Here’s how to use it!
First: Select “Show Project Targets” from the Project menu.
Then you’ll see a small separate window pop up.
It will ask you to set the parameters for your target: when is the deadline for this target, how many days a week you plan on writing, and whether you want deleting a word to subtract from your word count. (Scrivener is so nice.)
When you hit OK, the window will change into two separate bar charts that will show you the overall manuscript wordcount progress (toward the ultimate word count goal) and the progress of your current writing session.
My favorite part is how the bar changes colors based on how close you are to finishing. It begins a faint red, gets bright red, then slowly shifts to green (passing through an unfortunate pukey mustard phase, as evidenced above).
When your writing session for the day has been achieved (yay!) it looks like this:
I feel like I’m always learning some new and fun feature of Scrivener. This one has been the single most helpful in motivating me to actually sit down and write. It reminds me every day that I truly only need 15, 30, or 45 minutes to reach a reasonable daily goal. That’s helpful for someone like me who is detail oriented but needs to breathe into a paper bag when confronted with the big picture. (80,000 words?! How can that EVER be done?!)
What about you? Do you find features like this helpful? Do you use Scrivener? What are some other tricks you like in Scrivener?