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Word count is the most important part of the NaNoWriMo experience and the bar by which Nanoers measure their progress. Because the primary goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words, participants must write at least 1,667 words per day in order to reach this goal. For some sessions of Camp Nanowrimo and other months with 31 days, it is 1,613 words per day. In FebNoWriMo (Spin-Off Event) it is 1,785 words a day during Non-Leap Years and 1,724 words a day during leap years.
Word count is the only measure of "success" on Nanowrimo; quality is irrelevant. There is a forum dedicated to tips and tricks on reaching higher word counts, as well as another forum dedicated to celebrating word counts. There are often multiple tools focused around word count, such as calendars and word count widgets. While some may measure wordcount by the day (which is tracked by the stats page), some may set hourly goals or smaller goals during word wars. Wrimos may also set challenges such as "Double your wordcount weekend" or use alternate daily goals such as Reverse NaNo which starts at a higher daily goal and gets progressively lower until it ends at a daily goal of 1.
Throughout the month of November, Wrimos update their unofficial Word Count by entering the amount of words they have written in to the box at the top right corner of the page, or by using the word count validator on the "Edit Novel Info" page of their profile. This box can be seen no matter where you are on the website. A Wrimo's word count is displayed in their word count bar, which shows up above their username when they post on the forums and in their profile.
The maximum word count one could enter has changed over the years. From 2002 to 2006 the maximum word count one could enter was 200,000 words. This limit was upped to 999,999 in 2007 until being reduced to 500,000 in 2010 and increased to 1,000,000 in 2011. Wrimos may still write more words than the word counter can handle, and a few overachievers do.
Starting with the 2013 sessions, Camp Nanowrimo participants have the option to set their own word count goals, ranging from 10,000 to 999,000 words. In 2016, the minimum goal became 30 to allow for non-wordcount goals, such as hours of editing or pages of scripts.
In 2015, a lifetime wordcount was added to profile pages, showing the total words logged in current and previous NaNoWriMo main events. It does not include Camp attempts and Camp NaNoWriMo currently does not have this functionality.
Scripts are typically counted by page count rather than word count, so Script Frenzy's equivalent to the 50,000 word goal was 100 pages. The validator for Script Frenzy required a submission in PDF and counted pages from that. Since the discontinuation of Script Frenzy, no validator for page count is available. Camp Nanowrimo does offer the option to set a script as your Camp project, but suggests a wordcount equivalent in lieu of pages.