It is almost half way through October, and NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. For those of you not familiar, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and involves writing 50,000 words over the course of 30 days, and is held during November every year. I have participated since 2014, and have yet to complete the 50,000 goal (but that isn’t stopping me from attempting!).
I have decided to create a post of my writing essentials, in case anyone else is wanting to join in this year, and doesn’t know where to begin.
- A laptop. I don’t know where I would be without mine, and it is portable, unlike a computer, so can be carried anywhere. (even that coffee shop you’ve always wanted to write in).
- A note book or journal and a pen. Laptops are great, but having a pen and paper at hand helps, especially when that Really Important Idea comes to you when you’re on the bus, trying to sleep, or even in the bath.
- A flask/thermos. If you’re like me, you forget to drink your hot beverage of choice when it is the correct temperature. I also go too long without drinking, so find that having tea on tap (sort of) helps keep me hydrated, and means I don’t have to waste time making tea that I know I’m not going to drink. If you don’t like hot drinks, then a water bottle would also come in handy.
- Snacks. (see above regarding drinks). An empty stomach makes for a grumpy writer. Feed yourself and you feed your creativity. Food that is easy to prep will also come in handy.
- A blanket/duvet for those days when you’ll be too busy writing to notice you’re cold. I invested in a heated blanket last year and have never looked back.
- Comfortable clothes. I live with generalised anxiety, so I pretty much spend all my free time inside, so live in comfortable clothes/PJs. They make the autumn/winter more bearable, and will be easier to write in.
- Something to fidget with will help when you’re struggling on that plot point or dealing with a character who doesn’t want to do what you want them to.
- Portable phone charger. I have an iphone, and since updating to iOS 11, the battery has been terrible. Keeping in contact with the outside world will keep you sane, and will stop people thinking you’ve fallen off the edge of the world or calling the police when you disappear for 30 days.
- Writing when watching tv shows helps me concentrate. Generally I will binge-watch a series, with Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural, Buffy, and Charmed being some of my favourites.
- Planner or Pantser, at some point in the month you’re going to acquire information about characters, scenes, and plot points. Keeping them somewhere safe will stop you searching for that one character’s favourite food that you mentioned ten chapters ago.
- Optional: Reading material. 30 days is a long time to spend with the same characters, and other stories will help with inspiration, or even just to get you out of your own head for a while.
- Optional: empty floor. Everything will get too much, and lying on the floor will help.
- Optional: books on how to write. You’ll say you don’t need them, but when it comes to writing, and quite possibly writer’s block, you’ll think you need them to get you through. As someone who has been there and done that, I find it’s easier to get rid of that demon before the month begins, so you’ll be able to kick it to the curb before it gets to you completely.
- Optional: a writing buddy. I’m extremely lucky, because there are two very special people in my life who support my writing. I am thankful that my boyfriend of 5 years has stuck with me through all my bad writing moods and writer’s block. I also have an amazing writing buddy, who is there for me when I’m struggling with a character or scene. My cats also provide constant writing company.
Feel free to drop by if you are doing NaNoWriMo and feel the novel spiralling out of control and need someone to cry with.
Talk soon x