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5 Non-Outline NaNoWriMo Prep Necessities

by Kellyn Roth |
October 12, 2019

NaNoWriMo prep generally revolves around outlining, daydreaming, and pep talks, but there are some other things you’ll want to have prepared ahead of time. What if you miss them?

Last week I wrote about how to create your outline, and this week I’ll dive into these other, lesser-known-but-very-important elements of NaNoWriMo prep.

Note: I’m working on some very exciting things for the relaunch of The Dressmaker’s Secret, so stay tuned for that!

5 Non-Outline NaNoWriMo Prep Necessities

1: Snacks & Drinks

HOW COULD WE FORGET OUT SNACKS AND DRINKS!?! Snacks and drinks are important, yet every year – or almost every year – I forget to purchase them.

So this is your reminder. Buy your chocolate and chips. Make sure you have a bunch of microwave/precooked meals set. Purchase your favorite drink – even if that just means stocking up on tea bags or coffee grounds.

And be ready for NaNo.

2: Music

All of us need a good playlist for NaNoWriMo. I highly suggest putting together some songs on your favorite device/app/whatever.

I use YouTube/the YouTube music app myself. This is my half-completed playlist for Ivy Introspective. You can get a trial that’ll take you safely through November, and I believe there’s a free version, too.

But basically, I have it on my phone and kindle (up to 500 songs can be downloaded on each of these devices) and can easily access it on my laptop. No ads, as many playlists as I want, and automatic playlists of my favorite songs, liked songs, etc. Perfection!

3: The Perfect Writing Spot

Figure out where you can write best! I’m still working on that myself as it may be I’ll hit my sweet spot in my new desk area. However, at the moment, for me, that’s the couch in the living room (on my laptop, of course).

Try testing a few places if you don’t know where you write best already. You have half a month to figure it out, after all!

4: Time to Write

I know, I know! This is the hardest thing about NaNoWriMo – finding time. Especially if you have a busy life. Still, you’ll need to plan ahead for it if you want to make a success of NaNo.

I’d suggest finding one or two times during the day when you can just WRITE like crazy. Of course there’ll have to be some flexibility, but if you can find a few sweet spots, you’re halfway there.

So get your schedule ready!

5: Writing Buddies

I saved the best and most important for last.

Get yourself some writing buddies! Make sure you have a group of fellow writers to do NaNoWriMo yet. You need them for accountability, writing sprints, sharing snippets, prayers … whatever it takes!

Without my group of gals, I wouldn’t have finished half the novels I have. So assemble your wordplayers! Honestly, this would be my #1 tip for NaNoers – you need to have buddies.


~Kellyn Roth~


Are you prepped for NaNoWriMo? Do you have snacks and drinks? What about music? And how’s the scheduling going? MOST IMPORTANTLY … WRITING BUDDIES?!


What do you think of my thoughts?

15 Responses

  1. I’m prepared on food, and I’ll be trying to make a crock-pot shepherd’s pie for the first time next week or so to see how it goes. If it’s easy enough to prep, I’ll be doing one or two (hopefully) during NaNo as well.

    Music… not sure yet. I’ve got a couple of old playlists that I think will work, and a few favorite write-to albums. Beyond that, I’ll wing it per day, per scene, or per chapter.

    Writing spot… This NaNo, I’ll actually be doing edits on two or three stories, so I’ll be working on paper. Therefore, my writing spot will be the table I tutor at. Sure, this means I’ll have to pack up my pages every weekday afternoon. But it also means I have room to spread out my stuff when I’m diving deep into these stories.

    Time. Well. Basically all the time I’m taking to read right now will be forfeited for the cause. Ha! Maybe not ALL of it, but a lot of it. I kind of take the time day by day and see what gets carved out. I’m very goal oriented, so winning NaNo is a great motivator to whittle out some time each day to blaze through some pages.

    Buddies… Triple check! My writing buddies are typically year-round buddies, so I don’t have a problem here. I think I will reconnect with a couple that haven’t been so year-round lately, though.

    Happy prepping!

    1. Sounds like you’re pretty prepared! I’m good except I need to work on snacks/food/drinks. šŸ˜› And I probably need to figure out when I’m going to regularly write, though hopefully that will fit in to several little slots throughout the day depending on the day. šŸ˜€

  2. I love these tips! I already have a playlist, writing spot, and writing buddies; but I need to make a plan for finding time to write and stock up on some snacks. I have a couple hundred tea bags stockpiled in the pantry, so I suppose Iā€™m safe in that area… ?

  3. I told myself I wasn’t going to be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I told myself I needed the break.

    I also told myself that if I DID NaNo, I would be pantsing it and just having fun.

    And yet here I am, sitting with a notebook in my lap that’s filled to the brim with scribbles of an outline for the NaNoWriMo project I said I wasn’t going to do.

    I have failed myself. XD

    BUT!!! This post is super helpful!! I really need to stock up on some snacks… And also finish this outline, because the time that I find to write has to be for writing, not figuring out what on earth I’m supposed to write next. XD

    1. Haha! I hear ya … I really enjoy NaNo so I don’t think I’d ever be able to give it up. Still, this is the first year I am absolutely booked to the gills with other stuff, so we’ll see how that goes …

      Yes! That used to be me before I started outlining. I would spend so much time figuring out what to write next that I would waste my writing time … now I just stare off into the distance wasting my writing time. šŸ˜‰

      1. Honestly, same. BUUUUUT I’m still gonna shoot for it, because why not? All I have to lose is my sanity, and I’m pretty sure that was on the outs anyway. XD

        UGH, YES. Staring off into the distance is just too fun to give up, though! I mean, how ELSE am I going to make severely awkward eye contact with total strangers??

  4. Aaaannddd… wouldn’t you know today would be the day I FINALLY get a breakthrough idea for the finale of my NaNo book from two years ago??? Oh, the timing! I’ve already got two to three other projects to work on next month, but I might just have to squeeze in the new finale for my WIP Child of My Heart. *eye roll emoji*

  5. Ahhhh, Kell, I haven’t stopped by in so long and I feel so ashamed of myself. >.< How're things in your residence??

    But seriously, I love this!! You've got some awesome tips! I have literally never done NaNo, so tips are always good to have. xD Hopefully I survive! šŸ˜€

    I suppose you could say I'm prepped. Probably as prepped as I can be for my first time. We'll see how well I survive, though. XP Literally though, the book I'm going to be writing is one of my most exciting projects yet, so there might be a little more gumption behind it. šŸ™‚

    ~ Lily Cat (Boots) | lilycatscountrygirlconfessions.blogspot.com

    1. Hi! I’ve been busy, haha, but that’s always true. šŸ˜‰ How have you been?

      Aww, thank you! I hope your first NaNo goes well. Let me know if you need any help! šŸ˜‰

  6. Snacks? YESSSSSSSSSS that is something I need to do. Except I’ll probably end up grabbing some chocolate from the Dollar Store — because I mean…I’m BROKE. XD
    You know…It’s really a shame I don’t like coffee. Like, I really really want to, but it’s just…it doesn’t taste good????? And besides that, the effort of getting up and fixing hot chocolate or some other drink just…just isn’t worth it? XP As it is, most of the time I’ll forget such a thing as liquid consumables even exist. *bewails my inability to be an aesthetic author*

    (*whispers* I’m so unhealthy)

    ~ Music? CHECK

    ~ WRITING SPOT? Hah. in my house, with all my siblings, you take whichever spot is available XD

    ~ TIME TO WRITE? *Laughs in a slightly disturbing manner* WhAt iS TiMe? XP

    ~ Writing Buddies? Ooh, yes, speaking of, I sent you an invite, Kell!

    PS. Also, I sent you an email!

    1. LOL! I didn’t like coffee for the longest time, though I do now, and I always felt like an incompetent author. But truth be told, ahem, it’s probably not even that good for you … still, I DON’T CARE. I’m a fellow unhealthy author. šŸ˜‰

      Looks like you’re all set! I’m almost set. I really do need to take care of those snacks and whatnot. I’m really lazy in that concern!

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