NaNoWriMo News: How to Survive the Thirty Day Lexical Challenge That is NaNoWrimo

nanowrimo news books keep me sane

NanoWriMo News is a feature in Books Keep Me Sane that will give you updates and news about Farzy’s lexical bout in the name of novel-writing throughout November.

How to Survive the Thirty Day Lexical Challenge That is NaNoWrimo

Last September I mentioned that I am going to join the NaNoWriMo. To be honest, it was just a spur of the moment decision, I didn’t think of it much at the time. But now that November and NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, I realized what a huge feat this is. I am not sure if I can make it through November with my sanity intact. 30 days, 50 000 words, 16667 words a day. That is crazy.

But then I am known for doing crazy stuff.

For my first NaNoWriMo News post I’m going to share to you the things that I did to prepare myself for this. From choosing the right writing tool to rewarding yourself after NaNoWrimo, I’ve got you covered.

Choose the right writing software for you

MS Word – Ah, the good ol’ MS Word. Most, if not, every one of us is familiar with MS Word. It’s an excellent word processor and has a wide array of features.


  • You probably already have it in your computer so you don’t have to seek the internet to download it
  • Robust software with wide array of formatting tools


  • Can be difficult to organize a manuscript with a lot of chapters/ volume of texts
microsoft word 2013 interface

The user interface of the MS Word 2013

WriteMonkeyWriteMonkey has a very clean, minimalistic interface. This is perfect for those who don’t want too many things to clutter their virtual writing space and just focus on the writing process itself.

writemonkey splash screen

I love WriteMonkey’s splash screen because there’s always a funny quote every time you open the software.*

writemonkey splash screen 2

writemonkey with text and menu

WriteMonkey in fullscreen mode

As you can see WriteMonkey basically consist of just a text area. You can access all the features of the software by right-clicking your mouse. (Shown above)


  • It’s portable, which means you don’t need to install anything. Just download the zip file and run WriteMonkey.exe and that’s it! You can easily copy it to another PC or a thumb drive.
  • Perfect for people who wants a writing software with minimal clutter


  • Rather limited formatting options
  • Doesn’t have a rich text engine

ScrivenerThis is probably the best writing tool I’ve encountered. It’s so full of features that are helpful to different writers, from novelists to screenwriters. It can be overwhelming when it’s your first time using the software but fear not, it has a very comprehensive tutorial and user manual.

scrivener nanowrimo template

This is the NaNoWriMo template in Scrivener. How cool is that?

scrivener binder

This is the Binder, where everything from research notes like PDF, doc files to images can be organized


  • A great organizing tool when you’re writing
  • The NaNoWriMo Template in Scrivener is perfect for NaNoWriMo participants


  • You have to buy the software but there’s a 30 non consecutive day trial version
  • It can be overwhelming when it’s your first time

Your Notebook – Technically not a software but it’s a writing tool all the same. Some of us just can’t turn away from our trusty notebooks.


  • You can bring it with you everywhere
  • You don’t need to worry about battery life


  • You have to type in your computer what you have written before you can validate your word count

Choose your caffeine fix

Be it a six pack diet coke, a bottle of sports drink or a cup of pumpkin-spice latte (perfect for the fall season!) be sure to stock up on caffeine-rich drinks because more often than not you will have to stay up late just to meet your daily 1667 (or more) word target.

Be social

According to the famous adage, writing is a solitary thing. Well, I say that’s crap. During NaNoWriMo everyone’s helping out everyone to meet their 50,000 word goal. Seek like-minded people because they will help you and encourage in your writing endeavor. Trust me, there will come a time during NaNoWriMo that you’ll question yourself if your story is really good. That’s normal. I also thought I was the only one. Heck even The Great Neil Gaiman sometimes doubts his writing prowess. And that’s coming from a man with tons of hit books, mind you.

Be sure to follow NanoWrimo on Twitter, participate in @NanoSprint and the #NanoPrep tweet chat.

Reward Yourself

Some of the things that motivate me the most are books, food and clothes. NaNoWriMo is the perfect time to reward yourself—if you reach a particular milestone. Here’s my personal rewards list:

3 000 words – Oreo cookies

5 000 words – Monster McFloat + Twister Fries

10 000 words – McFlurry + Crispy Chicken Sandwich

15 000 words – 1 liter Nestle Chuckie

20 000 words – Big Mac

30 000 words – Pizza

40 000 words – a book

50 000 words – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers/ Cara Delevingne X Penshoppe sweater

chicken soup for the soul inspiration for writers books keep me sane Penshoppe-x-Cara-Delevingne-1

I’m not yet sure what I would get for myself once I reach my 50,000 goal. The Cara Delevingne X Penshoppe sweater looks fabulous and it’s perfect for the cool pre-Christmas weather in the Philippines but I am also dying to get my hands on Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers. Sigh. I have the rest of December to decide what to get myself when I achieve my Nano goal though so I am not worried about that right now.

Are you joining NaNoWriMo too? Any advice or tip you want to share with us?

7 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo News: How to Survive the Thirty Day Lexical Challenge That is NaNoWrimo

  1. Pingback: Friday Finds: Week 4 | Avid Reader

  2. This is a great post! My co-blogger Karolina and I are both joining NaNoWriMo this year, and we’re both planning to try out Scrivener. We installed the NaNo trial, which lasts until December 7, and we’ve been playing around with it a bit. Definitely seems like a good programme, can’t wait to actually try it out in a couple days! (Oh shit, NaNo is only a couple days away. PANIC.)

    I totally agree that writing is a social thing. I had a writing buddy during Camp NaNo this July, and it helped me so much! She read everything I sent her and gave honest feedback, and it really motivated me to keep writing.

    Also, I gotta say, your personal reward list sounds mighty fine.

    Good luck!

  3. I have participated in the past three NaNoWriMo contests. I actually won last year. I’m in the editing process with my current WIP, so I won’t be participating this year, but I wish you loads of luck. I love Scrivener, but you’re right the learning curve is steep. My advice is to stick with it. You won’t regret it. The best way to learn the program is to use it. Second piece of advice—If you are experiencing writer’s block, take a walk, or go for a drive, just getting away from your computer will help your clear your head.

I read every comment you make and I will try to respond to each of them

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