The beginning of November marks the start of NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month, an interesting exercise in the human ability to create, where you’re asked to write a 50,000 word novel in the space of November for fun on top of everything else you normally do.
We did it last year, and it’s great fun, proving to yourself that yes, you can write a book, even if you may not necessarily be able to get it published.
Participating in National Novel Writing Month won’t really get you any monetary rewards, as it’s more about your abilities, and challenging yourself to do what thousands of others can do: write for fun.
Writing has proven itself to be an excellent way to get out emotions, to throw out passion and fear and annoyance and a whole bunch of other emotions, all while conjuring up the brain and letting your imagination literally (and essentially literary) wild.
What’s more, after doing it – and completing it – last year, I can tell you that it’s not about having a novel edited and technically ready for print by the end of the month, but rather about turning that big old machine at the top of your head into a writing factory, churning out words and sentences and paragraphs into a long semi-readable block that proves you have a story in you.
Anyone can do it, and with all the computers we have in our lives – phones, tablets, laptops, desktops – here are some apps that can help you throughout the month on whatever platform you own, as well as some tips that we found along the way.
It might seem an odd place to start, but we find the accessories as helpful as the apps. A good keyboard is the best thing to get you on your way, and whatever you’re using – tablet or computer – you’re almost always going to be better with a physical device than an onscreen option.
You don’t necessarily need a case to improve the typing experience on an iPad, and the iKeyboard tries to prove this with a plastic bubble overlay that you can take with you on Apple’s 9.7 inch tablet.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover (iPad)
Most tablet keyboard cases are bulky, but then there are the slim ones that seem like they’re just an extension of your initial tablet purchase. The Ultrathin is one of these, using Apple’s magnetic hinge on recent iPad models to snap on without any problems.
Adonit Writer Plus iPad
If the regular keyboard choices aren’t really working for you, try something else. Adonit’s uses a combination of aluminium, suede, and rubber, and the keyboard is detachable, plus, the iPad can be removed from the case quickly and easily.
Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard (iPad)
Believe it or not, this is what this journalist used last year for NaNoWriMo, and still uses it to write most of his reviews on. While it can weigh down the iPad and make it feel more like a laptop, it’s one of the few keyboard cases you can use on public transport because it always keeps your tablet upright.
Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Universal (Android)
One of the very few Android tablet cases with a keyboard built in, this one is the Android equivalent of an iPad model we’ve reviewed, and can be modified slightly to fit most 10 inch tablets.
Apple Wireless Keyboard (iPad, Mac OS X)
Designed to for with Apple computers, but just as friendly to the iPad, the wireless keyboard from the company that made both uses two AA batteries, runs on Bluetooth, and is easily one of the better keyboards out there.
Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard (iPad, Android, Windows, Mac OS X)
Theoretically, every Bluetooth keyboard should support all operating systems, but Microsoft’s Wedge is one of the only ones we’ve found that actually acknowledges the other ones. Designed to be thin and light, the Wedge comes with a stand that should support any tablet, or go and use it with your regular computer.
There’s no doubting that Apple’s iPad is one of the best tablets out there, and it probably has one of the best supply of writing apps out for it. We’ve spent more than we probably should on different writing apps for this device, so here are our picks.