My NaNoWriMo Workflow

As I was talking to a friend about her process for NaNoWriMo, I couldn’t help but ask what she was writing with. I realized my process was a bit whackjob after describing it to her, but there’s a rationale. Here’s my workflow for the contest, starting ENTIRELY in the browser, of which I’m fond of Chrome:
I do my drafting here because I have a long-standing relationship with this phenomenal app and couldn’t even begin to do NaNoWriMo without its influence on my confrontation of the blank page. I love it that I have several hundred thousand words in there to prove its impact on me. I write my entry, then I quickly hit Command + A to select all, then copy…

…and paste it here. There is something afoot here with this amazing word processor, and this is such a project for me to put it through its paces. I love the HEMINGWAY mode and the version control. We’ll see what happens as I put longer form content into this tool. I get my running word count total here, and

Notational Velocity / Simplenote:
…and paste it here too, on my Mac. I live in this app. I’m writing in it now. I wrote my ENTIRE thesis here first, let alone EVERY grad school paper before moving it into Google Docs or Pages for pagination and other formatting. Notational Velocity is an OS X client that syncs with a bunch of things. Me? Dropbox and Simplenote, the latter of which syncs elegantly to my iPhone and iPad.

Then, I head to and update my word count total. That’s it.

So, my burgeoning book is backed up to FIVE different places, FOUR of which are servers of other trusted companies, all in about 30 seconds after I finish my session. I get my credit for those sites that accumulate writing for me and I’m protected. in several ways. As a work matures, like I alluded to, it then gets moved to another app like GDocs, or Pages. Scrivener could be another tool I put in here at this point too, but the important thing for me I’ve discovered is to have a running word count and also to get rid of the skeuomorphism of the 8.5×11″ US Letter page. If I’m writing for a novel, this isn’t in any way helpful. But word count is incredibly motivating.

What’s your process for NaNoWriMo?


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