NaNoWriMo is officially under way and I hope that everyone still has their first week momentum going. Since it’s the first week, I think it’s important to remember that there is more to NaNoWriMo than what is in your Microsoft Word document. The wonderful people who brought you NaNoWriMo have supplied incredible tools on your NaNoWriMo account that can help in a number of ways. Whether it’s keeping up with your word count, encouragement, or community, NaNoWriMo has got you covered and I think it’s so important that you take advantage of the tools that they offer you.
Like many other writers, I’m obsessed with tracking my word count. Because of my word count obsession, I think my favorite feature of my NaNoWriMo account is the stats option. On this page, you can input and track all of your writing data. This picture below shows the stats from my personal NaNoWriMo account:
This is more than your ordinary word counter. Not only does it chart your daily word count in a bar graph, it also predicts when you should finish and how many words per day you need to write in order to hit your goal. I think that this tool is incredible and I love watching the numbers change every time I update my word count.
Another feature that I love is the Pep Talks. A little encouragement goes a long way, so reading advice from powerhouse authors is a great motivator. A new Pep Talk is available every week and so far NaNoWriMo has provided advice from Kami Garcia, Chuck Wendig, and Veronica Roth. The pep talks are not too long and are the perfect length if you’re looking for something to read during a quick writing break. If you can’t wait a week for the next pep talk, NaNoWriMo has archived all of the Pep Talks since 2007 and they are all available for your reading pleasure.
Lastly, there are so many ways to get connected with others in the writing community. After you create your profile, you are able to communicate in the different forums and interact with other writers. NaNoWriMo also offers write-ins and depending on your location, you will be notified of a write-in in your area. This gives you an opportunity to connect with people in person and write in a place where inspiration is likely to strike. If meeting others for a write-in sounds too intimidating, NaNoWriMo also stages virtual write-ins, which is essentially the same thing except it’s on the computer instead of in person. If you find someone that you really connect with, you can add them as your writing buddy on your account.
In short, don’t just live in your Microsoft Word document until it’s time to confirm your official word count. Utilize the tools that NaNoWriMo has to offer because they will definitely help you. The website is pretty user friendly and it’s a great way to deepen your commitment to the challenge.
To all of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I hope you had a great first week and keep on writing!
Until next week,