All I Need is MSWord and a Sharpie

It was yesterday, November 20th, when I realized I probably should have done NaNoWriMo.

On 11/1, it seemed so arbitrary. Why would the simple fact that it’s the month of November motivate me to write more regularly?

But now look at all of you with your word counts and camaraderie and #amwriting hashtags. Meanwhile, I fight against youtube wormholes (The Little Mermaid “Honest Trailer” -> every “Honest Trailer” ever made -> Golden Retriever puppies swimming compilation #12) and wonder if maybe I need one of those fake sunlight lamps.

I guess I could use a little something to keep me on track, even if it is arbitrary. There are a bunch of interesting apps and sites that calculate word count, score you against your peers, award badges, etc. I think it’s great that writers have so many tools available to them and applaud anyone who’s found success this way.

I guess it’s some kind of combination of impatience and paranoia that keeps me from using any of that stuff. I don’t really want to add another step to my writing process. Even if it’s “easy” it’s still another thing to do, another password I’ll forget. And I’ll just never be comfortable writing directly into a web application. I write everything – even these blog posts – in Word first and save them, often emailing myself documents as back-up. And what if an evil hacker gains access to the back end of one of those sites and publishes everyone’s crappy first drafts before they’ve been thoroughly edited and proofread? I know, I know…

Photo Credit:

But, why take the risk?

Especially when it takes just 2 minutes and a standard word processing program to create one of these babies:


Yep, I think the MSWord calendar template/red Sharpie method works best for me. Low tech solutions have their perks (no passwords, available during power outages, exercise hand-eye coordination).  And, honestly, I still really like paper. (I’ll always be that kid who loved shopping for new school supplies even more than new clothes).

I’ll pin this to my corkboard (a.k.a. live action Pinterest) and let you know how it works out.

Question: How do you keep your writing on track?

2 thoughts on “All I Need is MSWord and a Sharpie

  1. That’s actually a great idea! It’s a visual reminder of your success. I would try it if I didn’t feel like my table would crack from just one more piece of paper. You go, you writer you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s