Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo Prep Part One: Writing Tools

Hey all, Dani here.

Oh my goodness you guys, I am so sorry that I disappeared for the last week or so. So much was going on and I was finding it difficult to find the time to blog, and the more behind I got, the more it frustrated me, and the more anxious I became. I started to have a little bit of a negative mental spiral, which wasn’t fun.

But I’ve spent the last couple of days training for a new position at work, and I am feeling so great right now. I’ve been feeling pretty bummed and annoyed at work, because my typical job just doesn’t do anything for my but pay my bills. Which, don’t get me wrong, that’s a wonderful thing. I just want to feel good about what I’m doing. And my new position involves a lot of creative brainpower and a lot of writing, and it feels so darn fulfilling.

But, writing at work has made me think more and more about how I haven’t been blogging, and so I’m going to try and catch up a little bit. Of course, with National Novel Writing Month (November 1-30), I’ll be focusing more on my novel writing. HOWEVER, I’m going to try and at least have short posts up each day, even if it’s just a couple of inspirational or motivational quotes for writing and creativity.

Anyway, today I want to talk a little bit about some tools you can use to help you write.

If you’re an old school writer, maybe you’re using the pen-and-paper method, or perhaps even a typewriter. That’s cool, especially if it works for you. I keep a notebook and writing utensil handy for when I can’t sit down at a computer and write.

Obviously, you can use a word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, too. That is a perfectly fine writing tool, and in fact, it is an immensely popular one.

Personally I enjoy the options available when writing using Scrivener. Being able to break down a story by chapter and/or scene, and to keep important notes and story/plot boards all together in one spot is super handy.

Of course there are also online options for writing. Another of my preferred writing devices is to use Google Docs, because then I can access my story on any device, so long as I can connect to the Internet and log on.

Other online options include sites like 750 Words or 4thewords. 750 Words is a free site that is very simple: write at least 750 words each day and it tracks your writing time and speed, as well as a few other details. I actually used it a lot when I was in graduate school. The other option is 4thewords, which has a 30 day free trial, but then is $4 a month. It is sort of an online writing game, where your writing helps you to track down and slay monsters, level up, and earn more gear/skills so you can tackle more difficult monsters. The monsters are slayed by writing a certain amount of words or writing for a certain amount of time.

Now, for writing encouragement, or for use during writing sprints, I’m going to recommend Written? Kitten! and Write or Die. For Written? Kitten! you can set up to give yourself cute photos of kittens, puppies, and more when you reach a certain number of words, such as every 200 words you’ll get a new photo to encourage you. On the other hand, Write or Die, allows you to choose a word count goal or a time limit goal, and then choose the form of your stimulus, reward, or consequence. This could be an annoying sound or a comforting sound, or a pleasing or upsetting photo. Or you could go for Kamikaze Mode, which turns your screen red and then a little bomb emoji pops up at the end of your writing and starts deleting it letter by letter until you get started again.

So, these are just a few of the writing tools I have used over the years. Hopefully if you are jumping into writing, even if it isn’t a NaNo project, one of these may prove helpful to you.

Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? If so, tell me a little about your project down below–whether it’s the genre, the title, or just a vague concept. Also, if you are participating, good luck. And if you are not a writer or a NaNo participant, well, I’m sorry, but my blog is going to be very focused on writing until the end of November.

Okay, that’s all for today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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