Nanowrimo or National Novel Writing Month is an initiative that encourages people to write a novel (or as close as you can get to that) in a month. It’s demanding but rewarding and I always try to take part in some way.
Now that explanations are out of the way:
DID YOU KNOW that November is just around the corner?? I have so much shit goign on the I forgot about it until last week.
To those like me who forgot, or people that just don’t need much preparation before trying to get out 50,000 words in a month, I bring you my personal Survival Kit: eight things you need to have at hand of you wanna get as far along the wordcount as humanly possible! (not very far, in my case)
1-A (realistic) schedule
I’m one of those people that get writing done whenever they can and just sneak in more words when the inspiration strikes, however having also a set time for writing can be super helpful (especially for those days when the muse is hiding from you and you have no idea how to continue)
I will still write if I get the inspiration (usually during an extremely boring class or at work) but I’ll also have times where I sit down and just write for the day’s goal. It’s important to remember that the first draft is always crap and it’s okay to write just because you want to reach a number.
Pretty notebooks of all shapes and colors and sizes because this time you’ll definitely use them.
Let’s be real, the notebooks are pretty but not really practical and you’ll feel like you are “wasting” them just by using them for their intended purpose. Still, I encourage you to get all the notebooks your heart desires because they are cute and you’ll have a physical reminder that you want to write
3-Pens in all the colors of the rainbow
I’m a visual person, I need to have a visual support for all the sides of my story. Different colors help me sort out different parts of the plot and different characters. I don’t write my whole novel by hand (that would be exhausting) but I do like to make mind-maps and lots of arrows going to and from plot points, so color coding is king.
4-A writing buddy (or more)
I know we all have this image of the writing shutting themselves out of society and talking only to their muse and all that bullshit. Turns out that interacting with other people can actually be better! Every author out there will tell you that you need support while you are creating, and what better support than people who are going through the same thing as you! NaNoWriMo has the option to connect with other writers through their platform, either people you know online or from you country, so you can actually meet them in person!
I highly recommend getting a buddy, that way you can bounce off ideas from one another and cheer each other when things get hard
I mean, you can’t just sit down and write without something to munch on! And sugar is a vital component of the writer’s diet, let’s be real
6-Coffee or tea
The caffeinated glue that joins creativity and productivity, especially for those nights where I’m trying desperately to catch up with the word count and the words don’t want to help
7-App to actually write on
I use google docs, since I can write from my laptop, my phone, or any computer I can get my hands on, and saves automatically. No more losing hours of work just because you forgot to save and the universe hates you. There are a lot of other options too and on the Nano site you can even get special discounts for the paid options!
8-Exercise (yeah, I know)
We all just want to sit down and write and we “don’t have time” to look after our bodies too much. It’s a proven fact that just 10 minutes of exercise can help improve your creativity and even help you work through problems in your book. Sometimes you need to go outside and get fresh air or even stay inside but move your muscles a little. There’s also the fact that exercising releases endorphins and you’ll, at least, write in a bit of a better mood.
I have three choices that I jump between: walking my dogs, yoga or hockey
- Hockey has a set schedule and I can’t miss it so that’s definitely happening.
- My dog is fat and beautiful and we get at least an hour straight of walking whenever I have the time. This helps me a lot to reorganized my thoughts and view things a bit clearer
- Yoga is the perfect option if you don’t move much and also don’t want to get out of the house. I practise with videos from Yoga With Adriene, coincidentally, she posted a routine for writers the other day!
Note that I never said you needed an idea or a plot already in place, because I don’t have any of that and I plan on doing this anyway! Don’t be afraid to stare at the white page and just start writing nonsense until something sticks!