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I’m a nano scofflaw. I say that nano is a tool, and you should use it how it best supports your writing. For example:

  • Instead of writing one novel, write a bunch of short stories that add up to 50k words.
  • Work on something that is already underway, but you’re bogged down, and the incentive of that daily word count graph will catalyze your productivity. Maybe you’ll get the dang thing done.
  • I’m a lousy typist, but a fast talker, so I walk in the hills and dictate into my iPhone (using the Dictate + Connect app). I send these recordings via Dropbox to my transcriber, who returns Word docs to me. I did 80K words my first nano in this way.
  • This year, I’m not writing something new; I’m editing something that’s half done. My nano regimen will be turning rough notes and outlines and conflicting versions into smooth, sparkling prose. For me, editing a page is harder than writing a page, so it’s nano worthy. My goal: ≥50,000 edited words.
  • I know two people who work on their memoirs during nano. That’s okay; they’re probably mostly fiction anyway.
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