So, it’s November the twelfth, which makes us just under halfway through NaNoWriMo.
How are you getting on?
I’ve been pretty lousy so far — I’ve not even been tracking on the site — bit I’ve just not been in the mood, so I’ve been catching up on a lot of reading instead.
Still, this week I thought I would share with you my NaNoWriMo survival kit: all the things that I personally find really helpful when I’m stuggling to write. Maybe some of these things will be useful to you? Maybe these are just weird things I use? Either way, hopefully, it’ll be interesting.
- My laptop. I don’t do a lot of writing by hand. I did one year — I wrote my whole project by hand and I did enjoy it — but it’s just not sustainable for me personally. I can never read my own handwriting when I go back to it.
- On my laptop, my favourite programme for compiling writing is Scrivener. That’s where I organise all writing from the day. When I’m out and about, I sync up my devices to Word online, so I also use the website version of that to transfer over to Scrivener. While I’m online, I also have a Pinterest page set up with any reference material or just visual inspiration for the project I’m working on.
- Next, I have my bullet journal. I have a grid page for tracking my word count over the course of the month. I do really like the graph the NaNoWriMo website creates as you go but I also like to keep track for myself.
- I usually have at least one notebook. Even though I no longer write by hand, I do tend to jot some things down if they seem a little more complicated, or if a scene has a lot of action going on which I want to get organised in my head. I find that a lot easier to scribble by hand and then refer back to as I’m writing.
- I have my outline typed up and broken down into scenes. It’s printed out onto A4 paper so that I can score it out and mark it up as I go along. It’s not a massively complicated outline — I usually have a bullet point or two per scene. For this project, I’ve only done the first half of the story (which is really all I expected to get through for NaNoWriMo). Once I get to that point I’ll flesh out the ideas I have for the second half.
- My phone and fold-up Bluetooth keyboard. I love to have this in my bag for heading down to my local coffee shop or if I take the train somewhere.
- Coffee shops are my favourite place to write though, hence the collapsible coffee cup. I don’t tend to drink a lot of coffee in the house, but I really love sitting in shops and I get a lot more done than I do at home. I usually get another one to go on the way out, on the way to work.
- Then I’ve got a bundle of pens and highlighters, just in case I need to make notes or stick something onto my outline for later on, or something I want to remember when I go back to edit.
- Lastly, a pair of fingerless gloves. My hands get cold really easily so I don’t want that distracting me while I’m typing.
What absolute essential do you have in your writing survival kit?