National Writing Month

Nanowrimo - image by

Many of you have likely heard of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, which has been around since 1999, but I just recently discovered AcWriMo, or Academic Writing Month. The goal of both is ultimately writing, but there are a few differences between the two. NaNoWriMo aims to produce a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month by meeting daily word writing goals. The product is rough, and will later require revision, but at the end of the month, there is a substantial tome with which to work.

Academic writing is slightly different. Although it may make sense to set a daily word goal in the same way, there are other possible strategies to follow as well. Ellen Spaeth discusses a few different types of goals that can be the focus of AcWriMo. For example, goals could instead be time based (spend so much time per day) or output-based, or some combination of these.

As a new dad and Ph.D. student, the picture above resonates well with me, and reflects what my upcoming month will look like. I have two large papers that need to be finished by the end of this month, so I’ll be setting an output-based goal for those. Of course, breaking that down into smaller portions is important, so I’m also going to be setting a daily output goal. This work needs to be more polished than a rough draft novel, so I’m planning to do two pages a day.

Care to join? You can choose either NaNoWriMo or AcWriMo! What goals will you set for this month?

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