Some of you might be participating in National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. I found a few fun resources that might be of interest to you if you're one of the brave and ambitious souls to take on this challenge! Even if you're not participating in NaNoWriMo, this is a good article to read through if you're a writer, are interested in becoming one, or like reading about writing-related articles.
These will help you with your journey to 50,000 words! Pick the ones you like.
Tracking word goals
- The Write Practice's word calendar (Sunday start)
- Quirkbooks word calendar (Sunday start)
- David Seah's NaNoWriMo word calendar (Monday start)
- Grab a sideways clipboard for one of your calendars from above.
- Alternatively, try out one of these tracker methods:
- You need good writing software.
I suggest Scrivener (Windows, Mac) for professional writing. It has a great folder scheme to help you organize all of your writing, full-screen mode for distraction-free writing, word goal tracking, and many more features. There are many great things about Scrivener, I could go on all day about it. But, if you take your writing seriously in any way, Scrivener is a fantastically powerful tool that can help you organize all of your writing and I highly recommend it! Whether you're a novelist, blogger, author, anything! The amazing thing is the if you have an iPad and iPhone you can also use Scrivener on them! They took years to make it and from what I've heard the wait was totally worth it! Can't wait to grab one of the newer iPads so I can have the perfect writing workflow! :)
- Once you've got Scrivener, or other writing software installed, I recommend using a cloud back-up so you don't lose any precious work. There's nothing worse than losing words you painstakingly put together. I recommend Dropbox to back up your files since it integrates with many useful apps. This is a referral link, so if you sign-up for Dropbox through this link you'll get 500mb bonus space and so will I.
- If you looked at the screenshots for Scrivener and aren't ready for software that powerful, it's powerfully simple once you figure it out, then I recommend trying out Byword (iPhone, iPad, Mac only). The reason I love it is because it is a blank canvas with nothing to distract you. It's only your writing and a soft background. I have this app on my iPad and write there when I want to dive straight into writing. Alternatively, if you use PC, I recommend Writebox.
Once I'm ready to heavily edit and reference research, I'll turn on my computer, open up Writebox Chrome app, and copy the text file saved in Dropbox and paste it to Scrivener. I don't have Scrivener synced to same folder Byword is synced up to because I've read nightmares about possible sync issues which might result in lost work, so I copy and paste.
-Writebox is also handy if I want to write something quick, such as an email. It's also good if I want to dive into writing with an idea that popped into my mind.
- Inspiration can strike anywhere. Consider installing a writing app on your phone to crank out those choice sentences that emerge in your mind. If you're on iOS, Byword is excellent. I use an Android app called Jotterpad which syncs to the folder in Dropbox that Byword and Writebox are also synced up to. Or, whip out your Bullet Journal and jot down some notes in a collection.
- Try out Grammarly to improve your grammar.
- Also, give the Hemingway app a try. It can help you write clearer and stronger sentences through its clever color-coding editing feedback.
- Surround yourself with uplifting quotes.
- Consider placing your goal front and center.
- Use a Bullet Journal to keep track of your goals, daily objectives, plans, and much more.
- Read your favorite writers.
- Read about writing.
- Set up a writing ritual to get yourself in the writing.
- Turn off the internet.
- Turn off your phone.
- Open your favorite writing software and write.
- Remove all distractions.
- Make writing a priority this month. It's always important, but give it extra emphasis this month. This is applicable every month of the year.
- Look over your goals.
- Keep a tracker or log of some kind.
- Have a nightly and weekly review of what you wrote and how you felt about your progress. If you didn't write, explain why you didn't. Keep track of your reasons, there may be some underlying issue preventing you from getting writing in; are you hungry? Anxious? Tired? Resolve those and get to writing.
- Drink some tea.
- Grab your journal and write out some feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, excitement. Use these to get them out of the way so you can focus on writing.
- Have flash cards that you look over different parts of your story.
- Keep a notebook and have a collection to jot down notes and observations and details you want to add to your novel.
- Create a page where you write down what you'll do when you have setbacks.
- Create an outline.
- Have a writing playlist. Play that same playlist or similar playlists so that it easier to get into the groove of writing when you turn it on.
- Have another hobby to balance out the stress and pressure of writing. It'll get the edge off and give your mind a much-needed outlet so that it can perform its best when you get back to writing.
- Make it a habit. According to Charles Duhigg's research in habit formation in his book, The Power of Habit, he identified a habit loop which is composed of: cue/trigger, habit, and reward. The key when trying to change a habit is to keep the cue and reward the same. Also, a belief in your ability to do the habit will help out a lot in changing or creating a new habit. Piggyback the habit of writing after another habit you already do, this will make for a smoother transition in creating a new habit.
- Do a self-check. Eat if you're hungry, take a break if you need to, let yourself relax, and tend to your body's needs.
- Prep yourself every day by asking yourself, "what is important right now?" If you can't stop thinking about it, do it!
- Grab a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
- Take high-density fun breaks.
- Drink a lot of water. It'll keep your mind sharp and wake you up.
- Believe in yourself, you've got this!
- Keep a healthy internal dialogue. For every insecure thought you have, listen to the other voice in your head that's rooting for you!
- Keep it one day at a time.
- Constantly remind yourself of why you're doing this.
Here are some quotes to look at when you need a little extra boost.
"Focus is nothing more than eliminating distractions" - Tim Ferriss
"Nature does not hurry. Yet everything is accomplished" - Lao Tzu
"Don't worry about what you're writing or whether it's good, or even if it makes sense" - Laura Oliver
"A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity" - Franz Kafka
"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed" - Ernest Hemingway
"The first draft of anything is shit" - Ernest Hemingway
"Play around. Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure" - Natalie Goldberg
"You are going to love some of your characters because they are you. or some facet of you. and you are going to hate some of your characters for the same reason." - Anne Lamott
"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." - E.L. Doctorow
"Writing is its own reward" - Henry Miller
"There is no substitute for hard work - i.e. sitting down at the computer and writing no matter what you feel like doing instead" - Carty Phillips
"Writing is the painting of the voice" - Voltaire
As writers, we must not only write, but read as well. Here are a few suggestions:
- Elements of Style by Strunk and White if you only decide to get one book, this one is it. A great resource for all writers.
Because I'm sure this isn't the only article you'll check out during breaks between writing, I've compiled a few that might be of interest:
- A lovely view into how Nairobi keeps track of NaNoWriMo in her Bullet Journal.
- A clever set-up of a novel planning notebook.
- A few things someone who's won NaNoWriMo has learned about the experience.
- This is an online writing application to challenge you to write 750 words, or what would be the equivalent of writing
3-morning pages. If it's difficult for you to get started writing, consider using this as a way to play with some words, write down your thoughts and concerns. It has some neat features such as graphs to help you discover your tone of voice and such.
- If you want to publish your book after editing it, consider self-publishing.
- One of my favorite playlists to listen to while writing.
Here's a free printable I made to help keep you motivated!
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