My NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

by - October 30, 2016

The end of October looms, a nearly naked branch poised to let its final leaf fall. There's a smell to it—cold and faintly death-like—all that summer beauty rotting into a crunchy path that we track into the house no matter how hard we try not to. Ten cords of firewood were delivered in a manure spreader and dumped in front of our barn. Half of it remains, waiting to be piled. We'll get to it eventually.

There's been a constant fire burning in the wood stove. That's a smell I can embrace—though it dries the air so much I'm afraid my skin might split if I crack a smile.

Winter is coming. 

And so is NaNoWriMo.

And both of them are making me feel a little uncomfortable.

I don't have time! I don't have time for snow and I don't have time to write 1,667 words a day.

But the snow comes no matter our protest and those words...well, they'll get written—or at least they'll be given the old college try.

Because, like snow, once you've danced in the glow of a freshly rewarded NaNo victory, you know you have to do it again—no matter how much it hurts; no matter how your fingers ache or Jack Frost tries to ice over your inspiration—you get out there and post your footprints on Instagram because even in the pain there's something terribly beautiful to be discovered.

I tried to say no. I reminded myself that I have a magazine to finish editing, proofs to get approved and finals to be sent to the printers before the 21st of the month. I have two extra evening work meetings throughout November PLUS I've been invited to a Gilmore Girls Year In The Life viewing party and there's no way I'm missing that!

What I've decided is this: NaNoWriMo is worth it. Even if I fail.

Since the launch of Blank Spaces I've done very little fiction writing. I've played with some short stories and posted some chapters on WattPad but I haven't poured myself into something that can become...something.

Do you see?

I need the pressure to reignite the fire.

So I signed up. I have a very loose idea to use as a jumping off point, but honestly I have no idea what I'll be writing about. But that's part of the fun. If I can stick with it, I'll have a 50,000 word novel by December. It's a little bit magical, isn't it? Something from nothing. That's one of the things I love about writing.

The title? The Path That Takes Us Home.

What is it about? *shrugs* But it'll probably be amazing.


SO, to help motivate/inspire myself, I've pulled together a little survival kit that will get me through this Month Of Being A Crazy Person...

Nanowrimo Survival Kit

  1. My laptop, happily equipped with Scrivener—THE GREATEST WRITERS TOOL OF ALL TIME—seriously!
  2. Headphones which will pump the blissful white noise of a coffee shop into my ears, courtesy of Coffitivity—THE MOST HELPFUL APP OF ALL TIME!
  3. A notebook that will travel with me everywhere I go for 'attack' moments of inspiration.
  4. Pens to accompany said notebook.
  5. Fingerless gloves. Trying to type with cold fingers is awful. I believe in being prepared!
  6. Candy. It's obvious why, isn't it?
  7. Mug & Tea/Coffee. So I haven't tried the tea pictured. I'm not a real lover of herbal options but CLARITY sounded like something I could use a lot of...
  8. My planner, to check off the days.
  9. Some motivation to hang by my desk. Because everyone needs a little 'You Can Do It' every now and then.

Not pictured: 
  1. A door - I need to be able to shut myself into my writing room and get to it, undisturbed.
  2. Frozen pizza. You didn't think I'd be cooking did you? 
  3. Slippers and heavy sweaters. I accomplish nothing if I'm not cozy!
There are other requirements, like saying no to other extracurriculars or instructing the children in the proper manner that they truly understand AND actually become cheerleaders in the whole process—but more than anything, it's about focus. 

And it's about turning off Netflix.

Do you think I can do it? Pop over to the NaNoWriMo site any time during November to see my progress {or lack thereof}. And if you feel up to the challenge, sign up and give it a try—we can encourage one another along the way.

Wish me luck! 

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  1. It is a great beginning of the day of a future writer, PC for writing, note book for some notes, sweets for brain!))


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