Hello, NaNo-ers! Just wanted to wish everyone participating in this delightful madness good luck. It’s a wild ride, a crazy month, a burn-your-muscles-and-make-you-sweat workout. You’re not alone though–there’s a whole community of writers ready to support you, encourage you, and drag you along by your hair, should you need it.
It’s also nice to have some tools to make reaching that 50K goal that much easier. Here are some that help me out when I have a writing goal and a hard time getting down it.
If you’re into tracking numbers and calculating daily goals, try out WriteTrack. It’s a wordcount tool that let’s you adjust your goals as life happens. Full disclosure: My husband–2009 NaNoWriMo winner–created this as he was dissatisfied with other wordcount trackers. But 342 unbiased iguanas and 210 agreeable aardvarks think this tool is great, so you don’t just have to take my word for it. *grin*
I don’t know about you, but I like to write to music. Pandora lets me create stations to fit my every mood. From adventure music (a la Pirates of the Caribbean) to soft dreamy New Age (Secret Garden), I can have a soundtrack for every scene I write.
Sometimes though, I just don’t want to write. My body whines I’m too tired!, my brain whispers Take a break! You deserve it tonight. Starting is the hardest part of writing, and I need to fool my brain and fingers into writing. So, I use an online timer and set it for 10 (or 15, or 20) minutes. It’s only 10 minutes, I coax myself. Give me ten minutes, and then we’ll see about that episode of Numb3rs. Usually, after the timer beeps, I can persuade myself to do another session or two, or three. Before I know it, I’ve hit my target wordcount.
It’s the how-to-eat-an-elephant-principle. One bite at a time.
Do you have any tools you use for NaNo?
My brain, my computer, my fingers – not necessarily in that order 😀
Yeah, writing can be pretty low-tech. 😀
I make playlists, lots of playlists. I like Pandora, but I’m so obsessive about my music that if I like a song I immediately have to own it! And song buying time is not writing time. 😉
Thanks for the link to the WriteTrack program. I’ll give it a try!
I’m able to turn on mood music and let it recede to the background. It sets the stage for my writing, but I don’ t fuss much with it once I’m going.
We can’t get Pandora in the uk, although when I visited the site, there was a link which suggested it might be available one day…
As for mood music sometimes it works, sometimes not. I played some of Peatbog Faeries’ Croft Work while writing my short story set in Scotland. It just so inspired me.
It’s the first and I still can’t decide whether to nano it or not. I will probably get 50,000 words written on various projects, but I’m not sure if a book. I’ve got a Christmas story collection though I want to do, so I’m waffling.
I actually did an experiment recently and found that I wrote by far the fastest and best in Microsoft Word. I tried five writing programs, longhand, and lots of methods, and it was always a minimum of 20% more productive, so that’s my tool of the trade for now. It just works best.
Yeah, if I had to write longhand, I definitely wouldn’t be a writer. My hand gets cramped and my handwriting becomes nigh on indecipherable in short order. I’m happy to stick with Word.
My November plans are to finish the novella I’m working. I’m turning a 7000 short story into a 25-30k novella. I’m excited!
Oooh! That sounds exciting. Do share when it’s all done.
I will. 🙂
Wow! That’s quite a difference. What a useful thing to find out.