Do you feel that? That magical tingle in the air? It’s not merely the crisp scent of fall or the hoard of fun-sized Halloween candy in your cupboard. It’s the energy of thousands of writers across the land beginning what will be a wild, madcap, month-long writing spree known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

If you are like me a few years ago, you might have confused NaNoWriMo with those chocolate-y Canadian bar things. It is very different, although delicious in its own way. During NaNoWriMo, participants attempt to write 50 thousand words – the equivalent of a novel – in 30 days. There are plotters – those who outline and prepare, and there are pantsers – those prefer to make it up as they go along, “by the seat of their pants,” if you will. I, personally, am a mix of the two. The goal is not to produce a publishable novel, although that would be pretty cool. Instead, the aim is to challenge yourself to write, every single day, with utter and complete abandon. No editing, no judgment, and no looking back! At least not until Dec. 1.

You need no special qualifications – anyone can register at However, as this will be my third year, I’ve found there are a few things that help me get (and stay) in the game:

Writer supplies for NaNoWriMo

  1. Fuzzy socks
  2. Tea
  3. Sharpies
  4. Coffee
  5. A non-caffeinated beverage to alternate with the tea and coffee – I like coconut water.
  6. A good sized mug
  7. Snacks (Look, the Halloween candy isn’t going to eat itself, you know. I throw in some healthy stuff as well.)
  8. Laptop
  9. Notebooks

Your personal necessities kit may vary. I also love Write Or Die, freeware that forces you to write a certain number of words within a set time frame or face death. Well, not death – but you can make the settings so that if you don’t hit your word count before time is up, you face bloodcurdling screams or a simulated explosion. It’s pretty awesome.

Other helpful links:

How to Schedule Your NaNoWriMo Writing Time for Success
How To Fast Draft
Write a Terrific Novel (NaNo), Minimize Revisions, & Improve Odds of Finishing AND Publishing

Good luck and happy writing!

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