NaNoWriMo 2014

Usually this time of year is an exciting one for an author. Nature is changing, begging for new stories. Weather gets colder, forcing us inside to write. There is a distinct buzz in the air about the infamous “National Novel Writing Month”.

This year, however, it will be different. There will be no NaNoWriMo. At least, not for me.

Why No NaNoWriMo?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of NaNo. I love that it kicks authors into gear and has the ability to crank out some wonderful fiction (and sometimes non-fiction) novels. I love the “do or die” writing that comes from being held accountable for so many words a day, week, and for the month.

What I don’t love is the drama and stress that it brings into my household. While my family has no problems with me writing (and a few even enjoy my stories), they do have problems with me being locked in a room for an entire month. Our family unit simply falls apart if my attention is solely devoted to writing. I have tried in the past to prepare them for my November disappearance, but it flat out doesn’t work.

So, with a heavy heart I have to decline participation in NaNo this year. Not because I don’t want to, or even because my family doesn’t want me to. But because there is only one of me, and this one has other obligations that prevent cranking out x-number of words per day. It stresses me out, but more importantly it stresses my family out. Badly.

Still Writing?

Even though I won’t be smack in the middle of the hype, I will still be writing. Just not 1,700+ words per day or 50,000 in a month. Maybe a few hundred, may none at all, but I WILL still be writing. I HAVE been writing, even if lately it’s been nothing but crap (we all have those days/months/years).

The beauty of skipping the challenge this year is that I will be able to work on multiple works instead of just one. I actually have several ideas in the making – a short story collection, a new fiction novel in a different genre than fantasy (not too different, just hopping over to paranormal for a moment!), and there’s even some ideas in the back of my head for a type of book rarely seen anymore. Make no mistakes – I AM WRITING! Just not for NaNoWriMo.

Not only will I still be writing, but I’ll be sitting on the sidelines cheering others who will be giving it a go. Seasoned vets and newbies, too, will have my total support. Just because I won’t be participating doesn’t mean I won’t be supporting others. Quite the opposite! Be sure to follow me on Twitter as I’ll be pushing you along in between writing, editing, and family obligations. 😉

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My Tools for NaNoWriMo

It use to be that I only had one computer. It wasn’t hard to store all my notes and story in one place, using my one central computer for all things writing. Looking  back, it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to store everything in a single place, especially when I’ve learned the lost data lesson more than once.

Last year I tried something different, mostly because I knew I might have to work on different computers. This year I KNOW I will be bouncing and writing in whatever room I happen to be in, so need the tools to allow me to write on a whim and sync across computers. There’s the plus side of having backups, as well.

My “Tools”

1. Evernote
Last year, I used Evernote to write my entire novel. I did run into an issue or two with syncing, though. I haven’t noticed those same problems lately, but to be on the safe side, I’m using it just for notes/outlines/inventory. I like the options it has for formatting and organization.

2. Dropbox
New this year is Dropbox. Since I have been bouncing around electronics so much, I found using a central folder synced online was the easiest way to keep all my projects together. I have a specific folder called “Writing” that will have my main word document for NaNoWriMo.

3. Google Chrome
To keep me organized, I log into Chrome on any computer I might be using. Just signing in presents me with my bookmarks and saved passwords. This is helpful when I need to quickly access Evernote, Thesaurus.com, NaNoWriMo.org, or Twitter. I even have different profiles for writing and non-writing, which helps cut down on the distractions from non-writing sources.

That’s it! You’ll notice the “sync” theme across the board. Evernote and Dropbox are also available on my Kindle, which can be extremely useful for notes when I’m nowhere near home.

Happy NaNoWriMo!