4 Nanowrimo Essentials

With November fast approaching, National Novel Writing Month preparations have officially been added to my schedule. Nanowrimo is a program which encourages writers to work on a novel over the duration of the month and hit a certain word count to “win” the month. You can set the word count anywhere your skill level allows. The contest is tailored around completing a novel by the end of the month in any capacity so that aspiring authors have a work to edit and hopefully publish by the end. Or you can just keep it as a memento of where your skill started and where it is now, as I do. You can find more information at nanowrimo.org.

Here are 4 essentials to get you started on your creative journey.

1. A bullet journal

One of the most important features of planning a novel is organization. If your character outlines are mixed in with your plot outlines, it becomes harder to track the growth of either after notes flow into one another’s sections. In order to be the most efficient version of yourself, a basic structure is important to dictate in the very beginning. A bullet journal can also help you find faults in your material if a character isn’t going where you thought it was, or a wrench gets thrown in your plotline.

2. A sturdy mug

When it comes down to it, creativity is a fleeting feeling. When it strikes, it’s go time, and if that means staying up until 2 AM to get that villain monologue just right, then you’re going to need a helping hand. Coffee and tea are staples in the writing community, so it only makes sense to associate a creative spark with a certain piece of glassware. Studies have shown that when you study in bed, it makes it harder to sleep, so why not associate your stroke of creative genius with a cute mug like this one?

3. A good playlist

When you’re in a creative mood, it’s important to keep your mind running on all cylinders. Music can help you focus, but it can be distracting to scroll through your favorite artist’s Spotify playlist to find the song that fits the mood. Before you sit down to even start planning, make a playlist that will help you focus and keep your mind active and ready to turn your creative urges into reality. Spotify has a number of playlists that are curated to your music taste and are designed to help you study- they’ll be listed in your “Browse” section.

4. A spot to write regularly

Location is everything in your writing, so why shouldn’t it be the same for the writer? A safe and creative space will help foster your inspiration by associating it with a certain area. For some people, a louder setting like a local coffee shop or park is ideal, for others it’s a block of time when you know no one will be home and you’ll have some peace and quiet. Depending on your preference, scope out a place that you would be willing to spend a lot of time in and make it your own- start using it for planning and initial writings to prepare for the real deal.

Hopefully any combination of these will help inspire you to be the best writer you can be. For more resources, visit nanowrimo.org.