Simply NaNoWriMo

12045447_10153099432277595_9141775052828923733_oIt’s November 1st and National Novel Writing Month. This is my second year participating and I am amazed at the community that has grown up around this one month.

I have written several times about NaNoWriMo on this blog. Yes, I am a fan. The intensity of writing 50,000 words in 30 days is difficult to describe. And, I’ve looked forward to it all year.

If you do a quick search on Google for NaNoWriMo will yield thousands, if not millions of results. The amount of information and people talking about it is incredible. There is simply so much stuff on how to prepare, how to survive, or how to “win” at NaNoWriMo (the trick to winning is you are only beating yourself). It is overwhelming.

But does it have to be?

The idea is simple:

Write a certain amount of words in a certain amount of time.

Easy, peasy.

Except, the execution of this idea is a bit more difficult.

To complete this challenge, a writer must write at least 1667 words each day. Depending on the writer and the day, this can be easy or difficult.

Much of the information found involves prepping for the month and pushing through (especially that notorious week #2). Now I have thought about and worked toward NaNo for the past couple of months to plan the story I want to write. I am most definitely a “planner” as opposed to a “pantser”. For me, I hope this will make my journey toward a Nano “win” much easier.

There are those out there who are all about the gearing up for NaNo, with emphasis on the gear. Planners or pantsers have one thing in common. There is a need for writing paraphernalia that may or may not be necessary to reach the goal. I must admit I like this idea of having gear, of having a NaNoWriMo survival kit.

I like stuff, especially writing stuff.

These kits include everything from new journals, pens of every color in the rainbow to chocolate, coffee, and the ever important talisman. This talisman is like an athlete with their lucky socks. This belief that having a kit or being surrounded by this stuff will ensure success.

But does it?

Truly the idea of NaNoWriMo is simple. Sit down each day and write. The problem is there is nothing in this world that will make that happen except ourselves.

If having this stuff helps get the butt in the chair then I am all for it. I am not here to tell anyone how to approach NaNoWriMo. Each person must do whatever works for them.

I’m going a different way this year. Simplicity has been my theme for the past several months and I am carrying it over to NaNo. I am truly hoping the less is more thought will be the key to “winning” NaNo.

My kit, if you will, is simple and will consist only of those things I normally use:

  • My MacBook Pro with scrivener software, loaded and ready. I already write most of my words with these two things.
  • My Novel Planning notebook – I’ve used a journal with all of my notes, thoughts, and plans inside. It fits easily into my bag and I carry it everywhere.
  • My favorite fountain pen and purple ink – Though I carry several pens, I come back to this one every time.
  • Coffee and/or water – I need coffee and water, but the truth is I tend to forget about it when the writing is going well. I don’t even have a specific cup that I use though I try to use thermal ones so the coffee doesn’t get cold as fast.
  • An SD card to back up my novel – Always, always back up your work.

My thought is that I can toss everything into my bag and off I go to write.

Again, if making a kit is helpful for you to create a survival kit in order to succeed at NaNo, then go for it. The point is to write something. This is only my second year and I don’t have all the answers. I’m not even certain there is an answer or secret to this writing thing.

Good luck to everyone who is attempting NaNoWriMo, whether it’s your first time or fifth time. Just remember to have some fun with it.

I certainly intend to.