NaNoWriMo: 50,000 words in 30 days

NaNoWriMo 2018


What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it is actually an international non-profit initiative to encourage people to write a novel.

Every November, many people start out writing their novel in 30 days. And by many people, I mean MANY. In 2017, over 400,000 people joined NaNoWriMo. Amazing, isn’t it?! Find out more about this exciting project here.

One of the challenges of writing a book is all the typing (or #AllTheTyping, if you are hastag-inclined). If you want to be one of the NaNoWriMo winners, you’ll have to type a manuscript of at least 50,000 words.  But who looks forward to typing 50,000 words in November? That quickly takes the fun out of writing a novel.


Consider this: the average typing speed is about 40 words per minute. That means that a 50,000 word novel requires 1250 minutes of typing. Which is almost 21 hours of solid tapping away on your keyboard.

This is a daunting prospect for almost all of us.

Speech recogntion

Next consider this: most people speak at a speed of between 100 to 130 words per minute. A practised speech recognition user can dictate 110 words per minute easily.

Now the question is: would you rather write your 50,000 word book in 7 ½ hours of dictation or 21 hours of typing?

Are you a slow typist?

The picture painted above is for the average speed typist. The nature of averages is that 50% of people is slower than that!

If you are a slow typist, speech recognition can be a wonderful all round solution for boosting your productivity. The NaNoWriMo is an excellent reason to start using it NOW.

Unless you are reading this ‘in the future’, by November you could be a proficient dictator (pun intended).

Share your creative thoughts and ideas with the world at the speed you can talk.

Does typing cause you discomfort?

Do you suffer from RSI? Or perhaps a tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome?

That really limits your ability to participate in exciting events like NaNoWriMo, doesn’t it?

In the past I have felt left out. I could not participate in interesting activities, because of my physical issues. Obviously speech recognition does not solve all your problems. If only….

But if you’ve always wanted to write a book and your health held you back, at least this is one exciting adventure that you can participate in!

Do you have dyslexia?

If you are even slightly dyslexic, writing or typing can be a huge challenge. Maybe you don’t have much trouble reading, and you CAN type, but it’s difficult for you.

Now I will be very straightforward: if you are very dyslexic and also have more than slight difficulty reading texts, you will need specific and professional help to get started with speech recognition software.

However,  then you would probably not be reading this blog post. So, I am going to assume that your dyslexia is just bad enough to create a barrier towards writing a book, but not so bad that you cannot type at all. And if that is you, you may benefit tremendously from using speech recognition software.

More than dictation: reading out loud

Not only can you dictate your words, but you can also have your text read back by the computer. Dragon speech recognition (versions Premium and higher) allows you to read a word document back to you with a computer voice. That makes it much easier to proofread especially if you are somewhat dyslectic!

Want to find out more?

Schedule a free discovery call to see if Dragon could be helpful for you.



Janneke den Draak

Janneke den Draak

Hi, I'm Janneke and I'm your go-to person for Dragon and Apple speech recognition software help.

When I got severe repetitive strain injury issues over 20 years ago, I didn't want to give up using the computer. So I learned all about controlling the PC with speech recognition and dictating my documents and emails.

I've now been a speech recognition software trainer and consultant for almost two decades, teaching over 2000 people handsfree productivity!

My online courses for Apple Voice Control and Dragon offer self-paced learning and I also love running my membership for Dragon users. For those in need of an intensive training or custom speech command creation, I am available for one-on-one calls.

Free 7 Dragon Tips series

Free Dragon lessons

Get started with Dragon on Windows now!

Sign up for these free sample lessons and hit the road running!

Apple Voice Control

Check out this free resource on getting started with Apple Voice Control on your Mac.

Connect on social

Recent Posts

Follow LSR


Dragon Tips