The Tortoise or the Hare – Which Way is Better?


Every NaNoWriMo participant knows this magic number. One thousand six hundred sixty-seven words per day for thirty days will get each writer to their 50,000 word goal by the end of November.

That number taunts me.

I set a 50,000 word goal for the month of July during Camp NaNo and I’m wondering how I’m going to achieve this goal.

Should I be the Hare? Do I sprint ahead like I did in Nov 2012 and write six to eight thousand words in a sitting? Now, this did involve copious amounts of caffeine, chocolate, and opportunities to sneak out of my house to write for hours at a time, but it worked for me. And, since I did most of my writing marathons on the weekends, I didn’t feel guilty if something came up during the week that prevented me from writing.

Or, should I be the Tortoise? Do I write 1,667 words each day like I did in Nov 2011 and reach my word goal and stop each day? This means that I have to devote at least an hour a day to writing, which usually means I am up at two o’clock in the morning writing. Two a.m. is the writers’ witching hour – at least it is for those of us who have a kid! 🙂

So, if you write, how do you get those words down on the page? Are you a sprinter, dashing to the finish line, or are you slow and steady, plodding along until you get to the end?

Happy writing to all the tortoises and hares out there!


About Adria Waters

I am a mom, wife, teacher, and a writer. Somehow I'm trying to find time for all of those things!
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6 Responses to The Tortoise or the Hare – Which Way is Better?

  1. Hadena James says:

    I’m a sprinter. Sit down and go at it until your fingers feel like they are going to fall off, then sit back and admire your ten or eleven thousand words. It also keeps the ideas flowing for me. When I write in small chunks, I occasionally struggle to get the next sentence out of my head and onto the screen.

  2. I tend to do a little of both. I try to write each day, then get big word counts in when time allows. Thank goodness tomorrow is a holiday! I’ll be able to turn into a hare and push my word count to where it should be.

    • Adria Waters says:

      I think that’s how I’m going to have to do it this month in order to get it all done. I’m interested to see how writing 70,000-80,000 words total will differ this time.

  3. Brianna Boes says:

    I do the same as AJ Booloodian. Although, for me, sometimes writing in huge chunks actually degrades my work unless I just hit a rare burst of continuing inspiration. I think I’m more of a tortoise when it comes to writing, slow and thoughtful, thinking through the story a little at a time.

    • Adria Waters says:

      I can see how being slow and steady is helpful – I’ve also got more planned this time than previous NaNos, so I think I may be able to be a hard this time.

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