Ian Philpot

Bad News: I’m officially more than 10,000 words behind in NaNoWriMo.

Good News: I’m not giving up.

I’ve been very frustrated with my story from the very start this year, which has really caused problems with the whole word count thing. But I’ve decided to continue to push myself to write something every day for this month. I know there are parts of my story that I want to get out, and I won’t let myself stop until December.

Since my word count is lacking and I don’t have much to update as far as my story goes, I thought I’d share some of the technologies that have gotten me through this year’s NaNoWriMo.


If there was ever one program that included every option an obsessive writer could wish for in a writing program, Scrivener is it. From planning my novel out in a virtual cork board to turning into a distraction-free writing environment, it’s got everything. It also compiles the final product into manuscript form or ebook! (I even used it to turn Relief Journal‘s latest issue into a Kindle file.)

Google Drive

As great as Scrivener is, I only have it on my laptop at home. So when I need to write on the go, I use Google Drive. There are other systems similar to Google Drive, but Google is probably the easiest to work with whether I’m on my work computer or my iPad.


I’ve said it once before, but I’ll say it again: Google+ is the best place for people participating in NaNo. Google+ can seem like a ghost town if you’re looking for interactions from the same friends you have on Facebook. But your Facebook friends aren’t all participating in NaNoWriMo. Additionally, Google+ is much more like Twitter in that you can follow lists (aka circles) of people or hashtags. The community I’ve found in the NaNo Google+ Circle I have is the biggest motivator/encourager I have (aside from my wife).


For the last year I’ve been saving reddit posts (mostly from r/writingprompts, r/shutupandwrite, and r/askreddit) to get me going for when I’d get stuck in writing. Those posts have come in very helpful in creating backstories for my characters, though they were a little difficult to find amidst all of the cute cat videos that I also saved…


Well, that’s all. Time to get back to writing.