Daily Word Count on your desktop for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo time! I finished a novel draft just as the clock struck midnight last year and since November is almost upon us again, I got to thinking about how I can make 2009 more successful and less painful than 2008.

It’s the simple things that make a difference. Anything that distracts is bad news. Things that help without stealing your attention are golden. I have the book No Plot? No Problem and one of the pages I reference the most is page 50; it has a chart showing the minimum daily word count totals. Last year I took a photo of it with my phone and used it as the wallpaper for quick reference. It was grainy and slightly out of focus. Not ideal, but I always had page 50 in my pocket.

After this morning’s coffee it hit me: I should make a desktop wallpaper of the numbers. Everywhere my Macbook goes, I’ve got my word count targets. I already have my computer set up to momentarily reveal* the desktop if I mouse into a specified corner, so with one sweeping motion I could have the information I need. I fired up Photoshop and am giving my word count desktop pictures to anyone who wants them. I’m sure this device will help me, and hopefully it can help you too.

A word about the colours and design: I kept it all simple and soothing. Blue and green for calming and positive feelings, friendly blue typewriter text, and the words “Don’t worry. Just write.” in the corner for when I (or you) need a pep talk.

Download set of 7 graphics from flickr. Here’s an example: [no longer available]

Good luck and see you on the other side of 50,000.

*If you’re on a Mac and haven’t set up your hot corners, go to System Preferences > ExposĂ© and Spaces, then have a fiddle with the Active Screen Corners settings. They can be very handy!