I’m sitting at 29,149 words, at least according to my word processor, which happens to be Microsoft Works. As I think about how close I’m starting to come to the finish line, even if its still technically weeks away, I can’t help but think about the numbers game in all this.
In the past years when I’ve used Microsoft Works it’s been pretty close to right on target when I go to validate, so it’s something that I’m not too worried about. But there are some programs that can vary quite widely. If I remember correctly, Google Docs has at times shown a vastly different count. Even Microsoft Word counts differently. Which means you can’t always just rely on the number you’re seeing. So, when it comes to validating, it can be pretty important if a few minutes before midnight you end up with 50000 words according to your word processor and you find that when you load it into the NaNo site you’ve lost a few dozen, maybe even over a hundred words.
So, as the month progresses if you find yourself just barely skimming by on the word count you need each day, I strongly encourage you to try and write a few extra words each day. Go above and beyond. Instead of just writing 1667 words every day, try and bump that number up to 1700! Don’t be afraid to pass the minimum and don’t think that if you hit 50,000 you should just stop, especially if your story isn’t done.
And most importantly, when validation opens up on the 25th, try it, even if you don’t have 50,000 words. It’ll be good to know about how much your word processor will vary from the official counter on the NaNo site.