For Writers

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How I Finished the NaNoWriMo Challenge with Time to Spare

Every November thousands of people gather online and in person to try to write a novel in thirty days or less for something called National Novel Writing Month. It may sound like an insane task, but every year hundreds accomplish this goal with the support of a huge community of writers.

This year I decided to give NaNoWriMo a try on a whim. I came up with the idea for my novel on the morning of November first while taking a shower. I had planned to begin querying agents throughout the month of November on behalf of my first novel, The Worst Form of Violence, but I decided putting it off for a month wouldn’t hurt.

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National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

I started my first novel during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2012 and it took me another year and a half to finish. That’s because it was a story I was invested in, plus a little bit of laziness and fear crept in. Not to mention that thing called life. But hey, at least I finished!

This year I’m determined to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month, even it I have to just mash gobbledy gook on my keyboard. Successful authors have done it before.

As of 1 o’clock today, I’m already nearly 2,000 words into my story. Off to a good start!

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The Best Microsoft Word Alternatives for Writer IMAGE COPYRIGHT: http://u00.deviantart.com/art/Work-desk-344097980

I HATE writing in Microsoft Word. It’s clunky and distracting. It makes the fear of a blank page more daunting and allows me to wrongfully ail that fear with bells and whistles like font size and header/footer options. Even with all it’s design functionality, I can never quite get the correct layout or find the right font.

So, while writing my first full novel, I tried a variety of programs and apps that helped me break away from Word and get through the difficult process of putting words on a page.

I’ve boiled down a list of my five favorites. No matter what kind of writer you are—a blogger, marketer, or novelist (I’m all three)‐these apps are some of the most useful digital writing tools and are sure to help you overcome that blank page and get to work with words.

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Writing My First Novel

About two weeks ago I finished my first novel, currently entitled The Worst Form of Violence. I’ve started quite a few novels and I have about a million ideas for others, but I thought this one was something special and I had a lot of encouragement from my fiancé. So I stuck with it and put all my effort into the project.

There were times when it was hard. Weeks where I put it aside, worked on other projects, and tried to put it out of my mind. It never went away. Constantly a burning reminder that I had something big, something important, something dear to me—no matter how much I hated it at the moment—was waiting for me to tend to and grow and spend time with.

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