Tips and Tools for NaNoWriMo (and Beyond!)

I found a great podcast this morning and it practically flicked a switch in my brain. I was getting ready for work and wondering if I’d ever find the time to write today—or, more honestly, make the time—and then suddenly I was scribbling like mad. I don’t normally have the attention span for podcasts, but I’m a huge fan of some of the writers involved in Writing Excuses and the episodes are blessedly short—usually around fifteen minutes long. They also put out even shorter episodes for November, because it’s even harder to make time for podcasts when you’re trying to write 1600 words a day. Today’s mini-episode is less than three minutes long and offers a couple different professional authors’ perspectives on NaNoWriMo.

If, like me, you use Twitter as your preferred procrastination destination, you can follow NaNoWordSprints for an extra little boost. Some sprints also come with a prompt in case you’re stuck on something or just want to play around a little. I don’t have the discipline to use a productivity app to block the internet during writing time, so having someone jump up and down in my Twitter feed now and then all “heyaren’tyouexcitedtowriteLET’SWRITE!” could be a game changer. And because it’s just a sprint, meaning a semi-spontaneous writing session of 30 minutes or less, it can ease the pressure when you’re trying to write around a busy schedule.

Perhaps best of all, if you live in a place like Johnstown, PA that doesn’t have its own Nano region and are having trouble tapping into the writing community in your area, you can still join a virtual write-in on YouTube. The next sessions this week are Thursday, November 8 at 4pm and Saturday, November 10 at 1pm. Who’s in?

On a related note: if you’re a writer anywhere in the Somerset-Cambria area of Pennsylvania and have ever “won” NaNoWriMo, pleasepleaseplease consider applying to become a Municipal Liaison so we can get our own region and have a leg up on organizing events next year!

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