NaNoWriMo: Survival Kit

It’s that time of year again. National Novel Writing Month – the time when I sign up to write a fifty thousand word novel in thirty days… and if I’m lucky I’ll achieve that goal.

This will be my fourth time participating and the first time I’m semi-organized. My desk is clean, my pencils are sharpened and I have a notebook full of ideas and notes.

I’ve been thinking about what sorts of things I needed to organize myself and I put together a survival kit of sorts:

1. Caffeine. I stocked up on my favourite tea (English Breakfast) and even bought some long life milk for those times when I run out of the fresh stuff and can’t bring myself to go to the supermarket. Also a lot of water on hand.

2. Snacks. I’m trying to be healthy this time so there’s lots of fruit in the kitchen. And some chips and chocolate for when I decide I need a treat…

3. My NaNoWriMo playlist. I have one. And amazingly enough it’s very very similar to my housework playlist. Lots of fast paced songs to help motivate me and some old favourites too. Also, I’ve recently discovered Spotify and have a feeling I’ll be utilizing that site on many occasions.

4. Stationery. Pens, pencils, post-its, highlighters – you name it, I’ve got it. I even have coloured pencils just in case I decide I need to sketch something out.

5. Something to use to back up. I have learned in the past that it’s always a good thing to back up. So I have a nice pink USB stick to use in conjunction with dropbox just in case of any nasty accidents.

6. Hair ties and hair clips. I can’t stand my hair in my face when I’m trying to concentrate so I have a brand new pack of both to make sure my hair will behave even if my inner muse isn’t.

7. Dictionary and Thesaurus. Whilst I could just use the Internet whenever I need definitions or synonyms, I love to use the hard copy for inspiration and have a copy of both – bought for less than fifty cents from a second-hand store. They may be over thirty years old but there’s something nostalgic for me about using them. And if all else fails there’s always

8. Novels to read. Because sometimes a distraction can be beneficial.

9. Notes, outlines, etc. I have lists of character descriptions, plot outlines, random pages I’ve taken out of magazines that I feel will somehow help if I need it. I keep it all in a nice folder where it’s somewhat of a mess but still somewhat organized.


Okay, so that’s it. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. Hopefully by announcing publicly that I’m attempting to win this year will be enough of a motivation to help me get there.



  1. Great survival list! I love hot teas and chai, so I have to make sure I have my drinks at the ready as well. I don’t think it is possible for me to run out of pens when I have close to 200 (I think I have a problem) and plenty of notebooks. I wish I could have a playlist going, but I am a silent writer. This is my first time participating and I am hoping to make it pretty far if not all the way to 50k. Good luck to you in your goals and if you want to add em as a writing buddy:

    Vyki @ On The Shelf

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