Featured, Writing

NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

We’re at T-minus 4 days and change, and it’s time to get your Survival Kit ready. I’ve looked at quite a few of these online, but none of them were quite what I was looking for. So I decided to make my own.

These are all the things I want to have on hand when the madness begins. They’re the things that will keep me going throughout the entire month, and may end up being your my to success for the tenth time in a row. Fingers crossed.

The stuff that is in my Survival Kit:

  • Laptop
  • Notebooks, post-its and random scraps of paper
  • Pens, all the pens. And highlighters, pencils, and a pencil sharpener just in case.
  • Tea – or other beverage of choice, caffeinated or otherwise
  • Writing Playlist
  • Timer, dice and writing buddies
  • Snacks, all the snacks
  • Research notes
  • Writing Schedule
  • Stack of Dares
  • Outline
  • Calendar
  • Writing Space
  • Mood Board – on Pintrest or your wall, whatever works
  • Writing Stash
  • Word Crawl of choice
  • Distraction of choice

That’s the list. I am aware that some of these things don’t fit in a box (or whatever else you want to put your kit in), and some of them might fit but you won’t get anywhere if it stays there. Like the laptop. I won’t get very far with that in a box. Still, it’s an essintial part of my NaNo survival, so it’s on the list.

I’ve touched on a few of these things already in my Prep Crate, so I’m not going to go into details on all of them. But let’s have a closer look at some of these items.

Writing things down

My most important tool is my laptop. My trusty old MacBook Pro is still alive and kicking, and will be leading me through yet another writing-filled November. My outline is almost ready to go in Scrivener, and I’ve checked my Dropbox backup system to make sure it’s still working like a charm. I’ve also got notebooks and post-its ready for any story ideas or random thoughts I may have when I’m not close to my computer. I’ve got a pen in every room, at least, and my Stack of Dares is ready.

To help me keep track, I went to the NaNo forums to get myself a new desktop calendar. I love having a constant reminder of the fact that I should be writing, so I even put it on my other computer where I don’t actually write, just to remind myself of the fact that I should be writing.

I’ve also got my dice ready to go, as well as my word crawl bookmarked and a nifty spreadsheet to keep track of said word crawl saved to my Google Drive. World crawls are awesome by the way. I only discovered them last year, and man were they a revelation. Before that I relied on word wars and sprints (thank you Write or Die for all your years of service). I’ll be starting on Year 3 of the Extreme Harry Potter Word Crawl this year, but if that’s not your thing, there are a ton to choose from here.

Finally, I got my writing space sorted. That wasn’t every difficult though. I live in a small appartment, so I’ll either be writing from my usual place on the couch, or at my desk, which is right next to the couch. I’ve got some story notes and character sheets on the wall next to my desk as well, so my space is ready to go.

Staying alive while writing things down

I was gonna have that headline say staying sane, but I fear that train left a long time ago, so alive it is. Anyhow, we all need sustenance to win NaNoWiMo. Caffeinated beverages seem to be all the rage, and I can understand why I guess. While I’m not much of a coffee drinker myself (though I do love a cool coffee-like frappuccino), I’m a sucker for tea. So I’ve got a stash ready to go. I’ve also got some snacks, like chocolate, that I’ll be using as a reward system. Oh, you wrote 1000 words in the last hour? Good girl, have a treat. Or; Yay, 100 words written and total panic avoided, have a treat. In other words, the diet can wait until December (wait, Christmas, make that January).

Another way to stay alive and get those words written, it to surround yourself with NaNoWriMo in November. Put a calendar on your fridge, reminders in the bathroom, and dig up all your NaNoWriMo stash. I love stash, like my mugs, zip-up hoodies, and cute little badges ready to go. Can’t wait to earn that victory badge one more time! Of course, since I already ordered the 2019 winners t-shirt, I kind of have to at this point.

Last, but not least, I’ve got my designated Writing Distraction sorted. Moya stands ready to help me take a break from time to time in order to recharge my batteries. After all, she needs walks, food, and attention, and even if I have 50,000 works to write in 30 days, while working full time, I know I need to make sure she is taken care of as well. Plus, walking is a great way to relax. Two birds, one little fluffy bird-chaser.

That’s it! Your Kit may contain different things than mine, but I think I got most of the essentials covered for all of us. You have something in yours that I’m missing, hit up the comments and let me know. Cause you never know, maybe it’s something I really should put into mine as well.

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