NaNoWriMo is less than two weeks away, and it’s time to start making sure you have everything you need for this unbelievably challenging, yet highly rewarding month.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every November. The objective is to put aside everything that holds us back from writing for one month so we can buckle down and complete a 50,000+ word novel.
If you want to be extra prepared, check out our top tips to prep for NaNoWriMo. In the meantime, here’s the actual stuff you’ll need.
- A Laptop
Yes, you could use a desktop computer, but we recommend a laptop so you’re mobile. Too long in one spot may leave you feeling antsy and you’ll want a change of scenery. If you use a laptop, that won’t necessarily limit your productivity. We don’t recommend hand-writing during NaNoWriMo because that adds significant extra work to keep track of your word count.
- Your Favorite Caffeinated Beverage
There will be days when you don’t get your writing in until late. Keep your favorite caffeinated beverage– coffee, tea, Redbull, whatever– on hand. In the same vein, keep some of your favorite snack foods around too. You’ll be glad you have them.
- Your Notes
If you outlined or jotted ideas down in any way in preparation for NaNoWriMo, make sure you have them on hand before NaNo begins. You’ll want to reference them and not waste time digging through everything you own trying to find them. If you didn’t make any notes or an outline, we recommend keeping a pen/pencil and paper handy so you can organize your thoughts later.
- A Calendar
It doesn’t matter if it’s the one on your phone, a giant desk calendar, or a planner. You need somewhere to plan time to write around your busy schedule. It’s also a great place to keep track of your goals.
- A Cozy Writing Nook
We know, we just said that you should use a laptop so you can be mobile and write wherever, but there is something to be said for having a place where you just sit and do nothing but write. The more often you go to the same place to be productive, the stronger your brain will start to associate that place with productivity. That way, down the line, on a day when you have no motivation to write, you can sit down in your writing nook and feel compelled to write.
- A Productivity App
You know best what your writing weaknesses are. There is basically an app for any sort of help you may need. Do you end up digging through research and not actually writing anything? Download SelfControl. Easily distracted by social media? Try Anti-Social. Do you tend to mess with the formatting until it looks perfect? Maybe FocusWriter is for you. Do your research and figure out what works.
- Your Support System
This month will be trying at times, and it’s important that you surround yourself with people who are supportive of this goal. Whether it’s friends, family, or even people you met on NaNoWriMo’s website/Twitter, make sure you have people you can reach out to, who will push you to hit your goals and keep going, and who will distract you when you need a mental break.
Are you a NaNoWriMo veteran? What else should you have on hand?