NaNoWriMo2017: My Tools of the Trade

I love writing, I truly do.

So why does it sometimes feel like such a chore?!

While I ruminate on blaming public school (because why not?) I want to share with you a couple of tools that have helped me stay focused and/or motivated.

While writing:

Write or Die

If you’re anything like me, the lure of browser tabs and social media get the better of you when you’re trying to stay on task with a writing project or assignment.
Write or Die helps with that.
It creates an environment of pleasing stimulus (white noise or cute critters) and then taking it away when you get off task or setting some kind of disasterous punishment when you get off task for long.
For example- I was lured away for a minute by Facebook and my lovely beach sounds just turned off.
It’s great for just writing, but if you’re the type to reread and review as you type, this might not be for you. You can, however, set time limits and word counts to keep you motivated and the stimulus or punishment is all customzable so you can figure out a stride that works for you.
The website is kind of buggy, but I’ve yet to try the app. I have plans to download it and put it to good use before NaNoWriMo!

While editing:


I’m pretty sure I mentioned this one before, but it’s my new favorite game. You dupe some copy into this sucker and it highlights triggers like adverbs, passive voice, overcomplicated phrases and sentences. It also tells you your word count and readability. I’ve never gotten my copy 100% clean (sometimes, not often, adverbs are necessary) but it has helped me a LOT with my complicated sentence problems. Hey. years of journalistic brevity has made my writing annoyingly flowery.

I’m heavy into Hemingway right now, but I’ll be switching to Write or Die next week for NaNoWriMo. I wrote a lot of my first manuscript using that tool and it really did keep my fingers moving. Remember that NaNoWriMo isn’t necessarily about quality so much as it is about getting the dang thing done.

What tools do you use? Share with me below!

2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo2017: My Tools of the Trade

  1. Hi sarahjanethill84! So excited that you are participating in NaNoWriMo 2017! This will be my first year participating, so I’m reading lots of material on past years to get some idea on what the road to victory looks like. I enjoyed your post about steering away from social media distractions.
    I’m going to be traditional and start a brand spankin’ new novel. So far I’ve jotted down notes for the novel. Character names, values, key events, etc.
    Good luck writing!


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