In my previous post, I told you that I was going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this April, and I told you a bit about how I have been getting ready for camp. Well, along with working on my outline and researching to prep my novel for camp, I have also been busy packing for camp!
Yes, I know I am “camping” from home and, therefore don’t technically need to pack… But I’m having fun, so I’m going with it.
Part of the preparation for a writing challenge should include gathering things that are going to help you meet your goals. Now, all you really need for Camp is your choice of writing tool and a project to work on. Everything outside of that is pretty much optional. That being said, most writers have a list of things that are nice to have when writing.
With that in mind, here are 10 Things I am packing for Camp NaNoWriMo this month.
1. Laptop (With Scrivener)
The one thing essential to camp is a writing tool. I use a combination of writing tools, but the one I use most is my laptop. Last year I tested out Scrivener during Camp, and it worked really well for me, so I am using that again this year. For those of you who don’t know, Scrivener is a writing program like a word-processor but with unique functions geared towards writers, especially novelists.
2. Ipad (with Scrivener) and Wireless Keyboard
I recently purchased a new IPad, along with a keyboard case, that I plan to use for writing. I love to have flexibility in my writing locations – whether that means a coffee shop, working from bed, or while traveling – and though a laptop is portable, I like to have a big screen, which restricts portability. I am looking forward to working the IPad into my process. Since I have also purchased the Scrivener IOS app, I can use Dropbox to easily switch between my story on both devices.
3. Notebook, pens, pencils
Though I use a word processor for most of my writing, I am never far from paper and a pencil. I do the majority of my writing prep, including outlining and research, with pen and paper. There is just something about the process of working with pencil and paper that helps me sort things out. Scrivener has many great tools for outlining and planning but when I’m in the initial stages of creating, or when I’m stuck, it is still pen and paper all the way.
4. Music and Movies
I rarely work in complete silence. Depending on the mood I am in, and the level of focus I am going for, I switch up what I’m listening to, but it is rare for me to turn to silence. I find creative inspiration in music and it keeps the parts of my brain not currently in active use occupied (that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it). I will even put on a movie or tv show in the background. This might sound strange, but it is always something I have seen a million times (never something new), and it functions as background noise – the equivalent of what I would get working in a busy coffee shop.
5. Pile of Books
Reading is an important part of a writer’s life. A podcast that I recently discovered (Write Now by Sarah Werner), reminded me that it can be easy to neglect reading when participating in something like Camp NaNoWriMo. With that in mind, I have pulled together a Camp TBR. Unlike real camp, where suitcase space is limited, I’m not restricting myself to these books, but they stand as a reminder to keep reading. Anyways, having some time away from the screen is always a good idea, right?
6. Coffee Mug (and all the fillings)
Coffee. Tea. Hot Chocolate. All are useful for the writing process. I am trying to stick to one coffee a day (two on weekends) so the majority of my hot beverages will be tea, but I like to keep my options open. And what is camp without campfires? And Hot Chocolate goes great with campfires – especially when it’s April in Canada.
I am trying to eat healthier and cut down on junk food. So the goal will be to mostly have healthy writing snacks. But let’s be real, sometimes writing calls for candy and chips. And camp definitely does (toasted marshmallows anyone?) While I will try to keep the unhealthy snacking to a minimum, sometimes junk happens.
9. Water Bottle
Hydration is important. Both for writing and, you know, life. It can be easy to forget to stay hydrated while deep into writing, so packing a water bottle or two is a good reminder that the brain works best when it is properly hydrated. And, of course, water is also important for hikes and other camp activities.
10. Bathing Suit & Running Shoes
These two items represent fitness. I have found that it is important to remember to be physically active, especially when I spend a lot of time writing. Not only does it help me stay physically and mentally healthy, but it helps my brain function. As tempting as it is to just sit and all the time, I am more productive and creative if I remember to move.
There you have it, ten things I am bringing along with me to camp this year. Do you have any suggestions for things that I might be missing? If you are participating, what types of things would I find in your camp bag?
Once again, I am headed back to work on my outline! (I can’t wait to tell you a little bit about the project I’m working on this year.)