Reverse NaNoWriMo and Planning

Reverse NaNoWriMo


It’s October, and despite the fact that NaNoWriMo starts in Novermber, planning starts YESTERYEAR.

Last year I completed my goal of 50k (early!) and this year I’m rewriting my novel as there have been major plot developments, there is now an element of Greek Mythology! (eeek)

Greek Mythology

Reverse NaNoWriMo

So I discovered this blog a couple years ago about reverse nano and it changed the way I did NaNoWriMo forever, and is the only reason that I actually managed to complete it!

The basic idea is that instead of aiming for the usual 1667 words a day throughout the month, you start higher, meaning towards the end you have fewer words to do! This suited me down to a T because my writing fluctuates. Some days I can write thousands, some days I can barely muster a puny 50 words. Here’s how it’s worked out:

Write all the words

Word Counts

Week One – The tough week – but you can do it! It’s only the beginning

  • Day 1: 3346
  • Day 2: 3216
  • Day 3: 3101
  • Day 4: 2986
  • Day 5: 2872
  • Day 6: 2757
  • Day 7: 2642

Week Two – Look how many words you’ve done! 

  • Day 8: 2527
  • Day 9: 2412
  • Day 10: 2298
  • Day 11: 2183
  • Day 12: 2068
  • Day 13: 1953
  • Day 14: 1838

Week Three – Now you have less to do a day than everyone else!

  • Day 15: 1724
  • Day 16: 1609
  • Day 17: 1494
  • Day 18: 1379
  • Day 19: 1264
  • Day 20: 1150
  • Day 21: 1035

Week Four – Barely having to break a sweat to get these numbers!

  • Day 22: 920
  • Day 23: 805
  • Day 24: 690
  • Day 25: 576
  • Day 26: 461
  • Day 27: 346
  • Day 28: 231

Week Five – Easy as pie! 

  • Day 29: 116
  • Day 30: 1 – Just one teeny word!


I promise you, it may seem a bit daunting but it’s worth it! I also adjusted it too. So I set out my month, planning in events I had and weekends away etc and adjusted my word count to fit. When I had a day where I knew I could barely write I’d swap it with one of the days later in the month where I felt I’d have more time. Below is a picture of my chart that I had last year (it got a bit messy!)

As you can see some days I switched up, and some days I didn’t even manage to write at all, but I still managed it and finished early to boot!

Another trick I found useful was keeping a track of my total and my target. Now I didn’t actually end up writing it out in the diary but I kept checking the NaNo tracker, so I knew where I had to be roughly to keep on track at least.

I also tracked my writing with stars (V E Schwab does this so who’s to argue with the Queen?) as shown below!

I hope this was helpful! If you’ve done reverse nano before, let me know how you found it. Also let me know if you’re doing it!

8 thoughts on “Reverse NaNoWriMo and Planning

  1. This is such a cool idea. I feel like I would quit before the end of the first week because of how many words I’d have to write. I may try it though and see if I can do it!

  2. I wish I could get into the Nano mindset earlier. I just don’t think I am ever going to get anything written (I’m not even sure I have a vague idea this year!) I wish I had thought about doing it this way though, very sensible!

    I love your bullet journal pictures, they’re super pretty!

    Good luck with Nano!

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