NaNoWriMo Day 1

• 29 fleeting notes over an hour and change – 1,680 words
• 2 full permanent notes – 830 words
• 2 links – 168 words
• 2 bibliographic entries – 168 words

Total today: 2,846 words

Total for the month: 2,846 words

I’ve already been doing the work anyway, so I’ve updated my NaNoWriMo profile to reflect the research and writing work I’m doing on a book related to note taking and its historical traditions. I’m writing it using my commonplace book and Luhmann-esque zettelkasten as tools.

## NaNoWriMo with Zettelkasten Approach for an AcWriMo Non-Fiction Writing

Using Niklas Luhmann’s rough average of six zettels per day working full time for 8 hours a day versus writing approximately 1,667 words in an hour’s work (~28 words written per minute, which seems a reasonable average), I’ve created a zettelkasten word count equivalent for reading, research, and note making.

• 28 words for every minute spent reading and making fleeting notes.
• 415 words for every well-formed, fully written out permanent note
• 500 words for every well-formed, fully written out and installed permanent note (includes work to install it in the box)
• 84 words for every cross link created from one note to another
• 140 words for every bibliographic card created
• 56 words for every index entry created

If you’re diligently working at any or all of the above, instead of measuring all the small pieces, you could just use a 28 word/minute measure for your zettelkasten-based work.

If you’re not a full time research-only academic (without a teaching load or other administrative obligations) and for fun want to measure your NaNoWriMo for non-fiction work on a card per day basis using Niklas Luhmann as a guide/measure, then you should do the reading, research and note taking work to produce 0.75 cards per day (that is, well written permanent notes installed, indexed, and well-linked; we’re not keeping track of the indexing cards, bibliographic cards, or other fleeting notes here, which you’ll also be doing along the way) to keep pace for an equivalent 50,000 words during the month. This is about 5.25 cards per week or about 23 cards for the entire month.

The goal here is, instead of churning out raw words, to churn out reading, research, and note making towards material you can reasonably use to write journal articles, book chapters, or a full non-fiction book.

If you’re using an index card-based system for fiction writing the way Vladimir Nabokov did, then you really should do a traditional word count as that’s more closely in line with the workflow of the standard NaNoWriMo work.

N.B. This probably overshoots the mark, as the 6 cards/day number for Luhmann probably includes all cards and not just permanent notes in his entire collection over his entire lifetime’s work. It also doesn’t take into account the possibility that he carried a teaching load, administrative work, fundraising work, or other nonsense required of professors.) Of course this is is all just for fun anyway, so… quit worrying and start researching and writing a little bit every day.

Spent a chunk of the afternoon working on the book for NaNoWriMo. I’ve pushed out 1,214 words in sections on rel-me, themes, and added some additional outline material. It’s coming along at a nice clip. I’ve also worked on \label{key} and \ref{keys} for cross referencing things a bit more nicely to make the editing portion next month go more smoothly.

It dawns on me I ought to update my totals to date on the NaNoWriMo website. (Oops!)

I’ll come back later tonight to (hopefully) add some additional material, but here’s the count:

Currently: 1,214 words.
Total: 18,528 words

I did manage to eek out about a thousand words today somewhat related to the book for NaNoWriMo, but since none of them will actually end up in it in the end, I’m going to count it as a zero. I did manage to do a good bit of additional reading, research, and thinking however, so it felt like a good day despite the low number.

I am still at 1,574 words per day on average for the month, so I am relatively close to the 1,667 average I’m supposed to be keeping up. This doesn’t seem bad to me given the amount of time I’m putting into testing out some pieces and research I’m doing along the way. I think is only the third day with a total of zero words for the day too, so I don’t feel as bad.

Today: 0 words
Total: 17,314 words

Blarg!! It would have been a much better day, but somehow, after listening to a podcast this very morning in which they dispensed the advice “Don’t write in the CMS” I managed to do just that and lose about 1,500 words! I bounced back after wasting an hour trying to do some recover and churned it all out again–this time in my editor as is fitting and proper.

Today: 1,607 words
Total: 17,314 words

And Shazam! Take that NaNoWriMo! This is the kind of day I need to be doing more of… The research and work is paying off. I once heard a quote in which Mozart described how he wrote music. It entailed something along the lines that he worked on it in his head and then dumped it all out on the page much like a cow urinates. Today I know how that feels.

Today: 3,667 words
Total: 15,707 words

A meh day for my NaNoWriMo project as I’m turning in a goose-egg for the day. I feel a bit bad that this update post is more words than I manufactured for the main project. I did do a bit of reading/research and fixed a relatively large $\LaTeX$ error I was having for the last two days, so that is something I suppose.

Some of the research and work will actually result in some physical changes to my site later this week to, so that’s a bonus I suppose! (I’m not counting any lines of code toward the book though.)

Today: 0 words
Total: 12,040 words

An okay NaNoWriMo day, but I’m falling behind on word count as I occasionally stop for some research and reading. I suppose I should be glad that I’m typesetting most of this as I go, so when the editing portion is done, I’ll physically have a book! The number of chapters and material I want to add is growing as I write too which makes the finish line continue moving as I write.

Today: 909 words
Total: 12,040 words

I took a short hiatus from major writing today since I attended WordCamp Riverside for most of the day. I did do quite a bit of thinking about the book however. Conversations at WordCamp has also helped to clarify some things.

Today: 0 words
Total: 8,237 words

NaNoWriMo continues! Didn’t write as much as I would have liked as I did some minor research and prepped for WordCamp Riverside tomorrow. Started into some work on the Post Kinds Plugin functionality.

Today: 1,705 words
Total: 8,237 words