My Official NaNoWriMo Survival Kit: A Loser’s Guide On How To Win NaNoWriMo

Happy Thursday, Cyberspace! A couple weeks ago I posted a Smudge titled The Official (Unofficial) Guide To Losing NaNoWriMo. Now, a few weeks later, I am preparing to assemble my NaNoWriMo Survival Kit, which means that I am going to record the process, and share it with you.

Because I’m just that cool, yo.

Now, I know this is a late post, but I was lazy and binge watched Once Upon A Time instead of being productive and doing a blog photoshoot got busy, so apologies on that; however, today I would like to present to you–

My Official NaNoWriMo Survival Kit: A Loser’s Guide On How To Win NaNoWriMo

One– Ze Briefcase

That’s right, guys. I am the proud owner of a briefcase. Actually two. But that is currently irrelevant. All you need to know is that you cannot–repeat CANNOT–have a survival kit without a briefcase.20161027_134650-2

(Well, technically you can, but that’s also irrelevant.)

The briefcase is the crème to the oreo, the ice cream to the hot fudge sundae, the peanut butter to the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In other words, it is what holds it all together.

Or, for our purposes, it’s just what holds it all.

Two– Notebooks

The very first thing you want in your survival kit–besides the briefcase, obviously–are notebooks. Lots and lots of notebooks.

Ze briefcase looks like he has a face. Tell me I’m not the only one who sees it.

You want so many notebooks crammed into that thing that you think the bottom might explode from all the weight. These glorious papery beings are a wonderful way to jot down random notes for future references, bits and pieces of scenes, or to keep writing when you are forced to leave your home, because you’re supposed to be civil and friendly to other human beings and not stare at a blank screen all day.


Which leads us to…

Three– A Laptop

This is actually a bit of a given for most writers. How in the world are we supposed to vomit words out across a pixelized screen without a computer? It’s impossible, I tell you. Madness. I mean, what would the Founding Father’s have done without their trusty Toshiba?

*whispers* Write by hand?

GASP! How dare you even suggest such a method! How primeval! Or shall I say, primevil.


Anyway, to avoid hand cramps and terrible puns, I suggest using a laptop. Many writers prefer to write by hand, though, so whatever floats your boat, make sure you’ve got the right oars to keep paddling.

So basically, just cram some more notebooks into the briefcase.

Four– Pens/Pencils/Markers/ThatStaplerYouNeverUse

Office supplies, people. You can never have enough office supplies. Nothing is worse than being out and about, when suddenly, a shiny plot bunny of inspiration hops across your path, and you have nothing to write it down with.

So do your future self a favor and pack some pens, pencils, markers, whatever into your survival kit.

Gotta love all the aesthetically pleasing notebooks and pencils, right? 


Oh, and don’t forget the stapler. If you do, bad things will happen.

Very bad things.

Five– A Carefully Hand-Tailored Playlist

Ah. Music. Where would we be in life without pumping deafening music straight into our vegetable brains?

Definitely not writing plot hole-riddled inspirational stories, that’s where.

Music is, without a doubt, one of the most motivational forces on this planet–right after Pinterest quotes. So it comes as no surprise that music serves as a wonderful source of inspiration when it comes to vomiting out a novel in 30 days. (That metaphor is disturbing. Forget I said it. [No, I am not going to delete it. What is this, a fancy blog? No, sir.])

So do yourself a favor and do the thing I have never done before: create a novel playlist. It’s easy. Just pick five-billion songs that perfectly match the feel and tone of your protagonists, your plot, your villain, your plot-holes, the salty tears dripping down your face, the bitter taste of chocolate on your tongue as you eat away your sorrows while listening to Taylor Swift…

Six– USB Drive

Seriously, guys, this is on EVERY SINGLE NaNoWriMo survival kit list. Instead of saying once again how you’ll be a sorry bean if you don’t back your work up, let me show you a simple equation:

NaNoWriMo+novel+USB=happy bean

NaNoWriMo+novel-USB divided by every word you’ve ever written getting eaten by the great and powerful cyberspace times thirty million peices of candy to dry your tears=sad bean

Math. So simple.

Seven– A Writing Buddy

NaNoWriMo is not an adventure you want to take off on alone. Trust me. Alone=bad. Very bad. Especially when you’re probably going to be losing your mind over the month. You want someone there that understands your pain, someone who can cheer you on.

Someone who can also see the sparkly fairies flying around your head because YOU ARE NOT INSANE, OKAY???

But seriously, you need a writing buddy. And if you don’t have a real-life writing buddy, then I recommend going to the NaNoWriMo forums, because the writing community on there is AMAZING. Seriously, check it out. Even if you have a million writing buddies lined up outside on your doorstep, go check out the forums. You will not be disappointed.

(And also get those stalkers seen to, because that is just not normal.)

However, for those extroverts who do, in fact, have real-life writing buddies (curse you extroverts and all your extrovertedness), I suggest stuffing them into the briefcase along with all your other NaNoWriMo necessities. That way they can’t go off and abandon you for some other, cooler writer who drinks espresso and says cool things that don’t have to do with happy beans.

(do not ask how this picture was taken)

But also be careful, because writers do tend to eat all your candy, which is why I will not recommend leaving candy in your survival kit.


(Although candy is definitely another necessity, so keep it close by [like in your mouth])

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today, folks. What do you think of my survival kit? Do you have a survival kit of your own, and if so, what’s inside it? Candy? Brownies? ICE CREAM???? (If there is ice cream in your survival kit, I shall love you forever. [and also hate you, because you’re letting it melt, you fool.])

Anyway, leave a comment below and tell me all the NaNoWriMo things! ESPECIALLY if you are participating. And if you’re not…well, it doesn’t matter, because of course you are. It’s NaNoWriMo. You have to do NaNoWriMo.


10 thoughts on “My Official NaNoWriMo Survival Kit: A Loser’s Guide On How To Win NaNoWriMo

  1. UM, YES??? To, like, AAAALLL of this???

    I firmly agree, sir!

    Also you will probably hate me now which not get our relationship off to a very good start – but I write BY HAND. Yes, I do. I’m crazy, possibly???

    Anyway, YES. Notebooks = yes. Pens = YAS. Staplers = my loves. Writing buddies = I’m introverted/I’m working on it, okay?

    Good luck, my new friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You do NaNo by hand?????? I tip my hat to you and your amazing hands for being able to do so, my fine cyberspacian! And all writers are crazy. It’s in the “I’m A Writer” guidebook, I believe. (At least I know I’m crazy… Does that count?)
      Ah, yes! Another being who shares the strange infatuation with office supplies! And ooh! Definitely check the forums, and don’t forget to buddy me because I NEED NANO BUDDIES. I mean…I would love to have you as a buddy! Yeah!
      Good luck to you, as well!!! Thank you so much for your comment, and it’s awesome to meet you!


      • And you, dear!!!

        I would love to be NaNo buddies with you! My username is storyndarkchocolate. (I’m really bad at finding people, so.)

        Yes, well, it’s partly because I want to and partly because I don’t have my own laptop and the family laptop is in constant use. :) I have a tablet but that’s still not ideal for banging out huge quantities of writing. :)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yay!!! Okay, I shall log onto NaNo right now and try to find you. (I’m also awful at finding people… This should be interesting…)
          Ooh! I’ve always wanted to try NaNo by hand… (curse you, weak fingers!) But this year I’m sort of doing a notebook and laptop combo thing. I’m not exactly sure how it’s going to work yet, but I’m hoping it will… (Our laptop is the family laptop, as well, but no one really uses it as it is SLOW.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Okay, I can’t seem to respond to your reply but, oh well, you will see this anyway.

            Ha, SAME!!! Slow computers have haunted me for pretty much my whole life, gah.

            I can try and find you on the NaNo site if you’re having a hard time finding me. Just let me know. :)

            Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a gorgeous briefcase and now I’m headed to Amazon to shop for one because you’ve convinced me that I need a briefcase for my survival kit. And, well, I DO really want to win NaNo this year! (This has nothing to do with my using any excuse for online shopping. Nope. Just dedication to my craft.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I do love my briefcase. It’s awesome. And they are a wonderful tool for writers to have! Haha! Of course you’ll win with a briefcase, right?? There is magic in the leather! It’s an untried and hopefully true method!


  3. Oh my goodness, the briefcase face!! I now cannot unsee those cute little iron eyes!! And that picture, agggghhhh! Super halloweeny! Ooh, I would take pretty much everything in your list + another briefcase filled with candy! Nom!


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