One of my favorite threads over on the NaNoWriMo forum is entitled, “What’s in your NaNo Survival Kit?”
Oh, yes. One of the best bits about NaNoWriMo is the stuff. NaNo is like a month-long party, and you can’t throw a good party without a few basic supplies. And a writing party has very specialized supplies.
1. Caffeine. My drug of choice is tea. Take your pick, and buy lots of it.
2. Snacks. For me, this includes nuts, fruits, and, yes, the occasional piece of chocolate. I also like Celestial Seasonings’ holiday herbal teas. Not a snack, exactly, but Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride keeps me from binge eating, well, sugar cookies.
3. Music (and headphones). Start working on your novel soundtrack now. Pick one song that captures the mood of the whole novel and could serve as the background track for the movie preview, and build from there.
4. Someplace comfy to write. I generally write at my couch. Yawn, I know. But I also haunt the Starbucks at my local Barnes & Noble, which is also somewhat comfy and has the added benefits of different scenery, different hot teas, and new books to look at when I need a break.
5. Someplace not-so-comfy to write. When you need to focus, have a place where you can concentrate without interruption. For me, it’s the silent reading room at the public library, which is so silent that I feel sheepish opening a bottle of water.
6. Ponytail holders. Okay, this only applies to some, but sometimes long hair is a distraction.
7. A treat. This can be anything that will make you happy and motivated. This year, I bought a new travel teacup and a reloadable Starbucks gift card. Last year, I bought some cute elbow-length fingerless gloves to protect my tender arms from the edge of the desk. Get yourself some treat that will remind you that this process is supposed to be fun.
8. Some way to back up your work. This is passe, I know, but if you lose your first 35,000 words, you will cry. Use a flashdisk, get a DropBox account, or just email your work to yourself a few times a week. Do it.
9. A fun distraction. I recommend a novel that’s completely different from the one you’re working on. Or The Vampire Diaries. Or Buffy. Or The Sims 3: Supernatural. Honestly, if you need a distraction, come to me and I’ll give you one.
10. Supportive friends and family. Yeah, I know, you can’t buy this from Amazon (yet). But you can warn your loved ones that you’ll be really busy next month and that it will be a LOT of fun. We’ll talk more about this next week, but you should probably go ahead and give them a heads up now.
Are you excited yet? I am! Add me as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo website! You know you want to! There will be more exclamation points!