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NaNoWriMo: How To Build Your Nano Writing Kit

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month takes place in November each year. It's a charity writing competition aimed towards writing 50,000 words in a month. A big event in writing communities everywhere, many writers use it to either write their first drafts or to edit current ones. Regardless of how you want to approach your latest project, there are a few tips that we learned from our experience last year that we wanted to share.

Last year, one of the biggest goals we had was to win Nano our first year participating. We wanted to write the first draft of a new fantasy novel idea that had been brewing for more than a year in the back of our mind. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Was it doable? One hundred percent, yes! We accomplished our goal and now for year two, we're employing last year's tricks and techniques to help us meet our new goal. Today we're showing you one of our secrets to success: How to make your own Nano Writing Kit.

What is A Nano Writing Kit?

It's a special grouping of items gathered during Preptober to be used to help aid a writer during NaNoWriMo. Ranging from planning, to motivation, to ritual, these items will help you stay on track while you strive to write and do nothing else.

What's In Our Kit?

Stoneridge Stickers- We purchased their Preptober stickers that came in adorable pumpkin word count and fall-themed stickers perfect for bullet journals. They were pretty to look at and fun to use, but even better they keep you organized and on track!

A notebook for outlining- Every writer has a favorite notebook. Pick a fresh one out for Preptober to collect all your ideas, character development, and plotline outlining as you go along. You can also use it to map out your goals. Keeping all your development in one place ensures that you'll be able to find it during Nano without hunting for strays, which eats away valuable time.

A motivational binder- Fall back on this time-tested classic organizational piece but choose one that motivates you. You can buy a cute one online, or if you want a more personal experience, you can even create your own cover on Canva. It'll house your workbook below and will serve as a catch-all for your notebook, stray notes and post-it's.

Natalia Leigh's Preptober Workbook- Looking for extra guidance, inspiration, and a way to keep track of your word count? Grab your copy of Natalia Leigh's Preptober Workbook. We used this during our planning and writing. We loved the motivational pages and creative tracking methods. Best for anyone looking to write a completely new novel from scratch.

Rewards at varying price points- This can be anything you want really badly. It works best if you follow the Nano badges for word count goals on the official website. Start with small items like candy bars or a fun night out and work your way up to something you can't live without. Splurge for the big fifty! It'll help build up the excitement as you crush those goals!

Trello- Trello is an online project management program/app that keeps you organized. Featuring cards that can be rearranged and easy-to-use organizational tools it's a great way to keep your story organized and in one place without having to worry about losing it or getting ideas mixed up. It was particularly useful for us when it came to plotline, as you can rearrange the note cards at will.

The official Nano website- A no-brainer if you're doing Nano then you'll want to sign up on the official website so you can tap into resources, word count trackers, writing goals, and writing buddies. It was super exciting to be part of the community and their easy-to-navigate goal tracker was the best.

Accountability team- A group of writers who are also doing Nano can be instrumental to success. Having people to cheer you on and help you through story issues can make the journey both fun and

less stressful. Read How To Create An Accountability Group: For The Writer Who Needs Motivation to learn how!

Social Media- A great place to share your Nano writing journey, posting about it on social media helps you stay accountable. Plus it acts as a record keeper to all your hard work! One thing we loved during was the way it connected us to our accountability team. This year we're most looking forward to looking back at last year's journey and reveling in the excitement as a new Nano begins.

Spotify Music Playlist- Having a playlist specific to your novel can be a powerful motivator. Trust us, we turned up the volume on ours during the entire month of November. Best. Thing. Ever.

Vision Boards- Similar to a playlist, a visual board on Pinterest that represents your novel can help you stay inspired and help you to describe places, people, and objects that appear in your book. We created one during Preptober that outlined all the settings and characters in our novel. It was so much fun to refer back while we wrote.

Comfort Items- These are exactly what they sound like- the best chair in the house, the coziest blanket, your favorite comfy joggers and sweater, slippers, writing gloves, etc. However you best blanket burrito yourself, gather it all into your writing fort and cozy up because you won't be going anywhere this November.

Ritual Drinks- One thing we found out last year was that having a cup of tea and a cup of coffee within arm's reach was a MUST. It had to be both, no exceptions. And of course, the obligatory snack was needed too. Preparing these prior to sitting down to write eliminated the need to get up and break our concentration during our sprints.

Cozy Elements- Different from comfort items, these are your inspirational, emotional support items. Things like Funko Pops, decorations, pictures, art, etc. Anything that creates the aesthetic that best invites your muse should be gathered and arranged in your writing space. When the feeling is "just right" you'll be more inclined to sit down, and so will your muse.

A Clean, Quiet Space- Keeping your writing space consistent throughout Nano will help you get into the groove of writing faster each time you sit down to write. Make sure the place you choose is comfortable, quiet, and clean to help limit distractions and messes that could leave you cleaning rather than working.

That's it! A very thorough Nano prep kit list to help you through your journey to 50k. Happy writing!

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