When it comes to writing, this time of year focuses on the challenge that is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. The challenge involves writing a 50,000-word novel within a 30-day period. Starting in 1999, the organization and challenge grew to host millions of users worldwide and since then has continued to provide outreach to communities through the written word.
Through the NaNoWriMo website, opens a new window, aspiring writers and seasoned wordsmiths can connect with one another for ideas, collaboration and encouragement.
50,000 words is no small task. Thankfully, if you’re looking to participate in a writing challenge during the month of November, you can set your own word count goal to meet your needs. You can still set start and finish dates, join forum, and add buddies.
Now comes some of the bigger challenges: How do you go about keeping track of everything? How do you stay focused? Are there other programs besides Microsoft Word that you can use to write? What if typing is a challenge? Getting technology to cooperate can be intimidating on its own, so adding it to this kind of writing challenge may be difficult.
The following list of free resources can help writers get the most out of their NaNoWriMo experience.
For organizing your ideas:
- Trello, opens a new window - a site that allows users to organize their thoughts and collaborate with others
- Hiveword, opens a new window - A website for organizing characters, chapters, scenes, and drafts of your work
- Calmly Writer, opens a new window - available online or as a desktop app, and supports the Open Dyslexic font
- Zenwriter, opens a new window - a web app that allows you to pick custom music, backgrounds and keyboard sounds
- FocusWriter, opens a new window - a desktop app with customizable themes that fills your whole screen for prime focusing
For speech-to-text writing:
- Dictation.io, opens a new window
- Speechnotes.co, opens a new window
- Speechtexter, opens a new window
For staying focused:
- Coffitivity, opens a new window - bringing you the coffee shop atmosphere from the comfort of home
- NoisesOnline, opens a new window - mixes a variety of gentle background noise
Places to help break writer’s block:
- OneLook Reverse Dictionary, opens a new window - uses concepts to bring you more wording to choose from
- Tip of My Tongue, opens a new window - for finding that perfect word
Are there any resources you like to use? Let us know in the comments!
Here’s to telling your stories!