Hey writerly people! Everyone’s been posting their “NaNoWriMo Survival Kits” all over the internet, but i decided to be original and post my “Writing Arsenal.” A “survival kit” makes me think of slogging through woods and fighting off killer mosquitoes, and that just doesn’t sound fun at all… Plus, my characters are more the “royal assassin type” than the “slog through woods type,” and therefore they should have an arsenal instead of a survival kit, right? Just agree with me please! And read on if you wanna see my writing weapons of choice!
This is probably a no-brainer, but I gotta have my laptop… I do handwrite my notes and a copy of my outline, but the thought of handwriting a 50000 word NaNoNovel makes me want to scream, cry, crawl in a nice hole somewhere, and read a book that somebody else wrote…
Scrivener is possibly the best thing to ever happen to my writing process! It makes my brain look organized, and that is NOT and easy thing to do! If you don’t know what scrivener is, (what have you been doing with your life?!), it basically lets you break your project up in to little pieces, like chapters or scenes depending on how you write, and presents them as pages in a virtual binder, or virtual index cards. It’s also got a research section, a place for setting and character info, and a place for notes below each file so you can write down exactly what you’re going to put in each scene or chapter and have it right there as a reminder. It pretty much lets you keep everything you need to write in one place so you won’t get distracted by Googling stuff or spend hours trying to find a file that got saved somewhere weird. You get a 30 day free trial if you’re not convinced of the awesomeness of this, and if you win NaNo, you also get a 50^ discount! And no, the Scrivener people did not pay me to say any of this… I just think it’s amazing!
Now that Scrivener has an IOS app, it’s super easy for me to write on my iPad when I’m stuck in the car or hiding in the corner at a social event. Also, it has Spotify! Which leads me to the next writing weapon…
■My project playlist!
Now… I’m complicated with this one… I usually have two, but sometimes three, different playlists for every project. The first consists of songs that describe my characters or the theme of my story in the lyrics. The second is instrumental songs that sound like the tone or emotional voice of my story. I use this one for the times when my brain can’t focus on anything and starts randomly putting song lyrics into the story. And the third is all ambient noise! I love writing to thunderstorms and waterfalls, but sometimes I just don’t have the real thing when I want it. I’ve downloaded some, but I also use an app called Nature Space that has some really high quality nature sounds. If you’re curious, here’s a song from my lyrical playlist that perfectly describes one of my main characters:
And here’s one from my instrumental playlist:
■A notebook dedicated specifically to my project.
I use a notebook to write down my character sketches and a copy of my outline so I can refer to it without taking my focus to another part of scrivener. I do my writing journals bullet journal style, and I might go more in detail with that later if y’all wanna see how it’s done.
■Coffee/tea and water.
I always have a glass of water close at hand because a, I’m a total health nut, and b, it could be really bad if I get dehydrated because of a medical condition. But when i’m writing, I also like to have coffee, (if it’s got enough chocolate creamer and milk to not taste like coffee), or green tea with jasmine on my desk as well.
I love essential oils, and peppermint is one of my favorites! It really helps me concentrate when I put it on my forehead and wrists. And also it helps my wrists not hurt from typing constantly.
■My jade palm stone.
I collect crystals, and I have this really flat and smooth piece of jade that stays next to my keyboard. If I can’t think, or I just need comfort while writing a hard scene, I’ll pick it up and rub it for a bit. I also have a black onyx buffalo carving on the shelf above me, and I like to call him my writing buddy. He’s really good to talk out plot problems with, mostly because he doesn’t actually talk back so I’m forced to work it out myself. 😄
I save everything in Dropbox, so there isn’t much chance of my precious words self destructing as computer files are sometimes known to do, but a horrible experience with a piece of technology that I will not name has made me majorly paranoid about losing work. SO… I save my writing to a flash drive as soon as I’m done for the day.
And there you have it!
That is my writing arsenal for this NaNoNovel! I’d love to see what’s in your writing arsenals, (or survival kits), so feel free to make your own post and leave a link in the comments! Or just tell me in the comments… Do you have a project playlist? A bullet journal dedicated to your story? A special something next to your writing space? Let’s chat!
From Cheyenne 🙂