Y’all. It’s April and 2020 has already been a YEAR. That’s why I need a Camp NaNoWriMo survival kit to keep me going.

a lamp and wicker chair in the corner of a library with the text "camp nanowrimo survival kit"

Original photo by Airam Dato-on 

When it comes to writing, there are days when I can bash out words like nobody’s business.

Sometimes I feel like my fingers can’t move fast enough to keep up with the ideas I’m pumping out of my head. Other times, I feel like writing 300 words is the MOST IMPOSSIBLE THING.

I’ve written a bit about how I’m taking care of myself in this weird time in the world, but I thought I would share the things that are really turning my surviving into thriving.

Nothing I’m about to share is incendiary. So, don’t expect big revelations. (That’s not really what this blog does, I suppose.)

But I think it should be noted that everything I’m about to share is something you can do with minimal cost to you.

And honestly, in this, the year that the Earth is trying to explode so, so hard, isn’t that worth it?

As with everything on this blog, your mileage may vary. I recommend these things because they work for me, but your Camp NaNoWriMo survival kit may look a smidgen different.

And that’s fine. We all need to do what works for us right now.

The best Camp NaNoWriMo survival kit is the one that lets you do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Share on X

Camp NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

001: Workouts of any kind.

I know I keep mentioning this on the blog and in videos, but it’s so helpful to have a workout first thing.

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My brain is always on fire and going too fast for me to calm it down. But getting my heart rate up first thing in the morning means that I’m burning a lot of anxious energy.

Cardio is my thing right now, and I’ve been doing the cardio workouts from the Core de Force program on Beachbody on Demand. (Terrible name, but it’s a great workout.)

I’ve been trying to build up a habit all year, and I finally realized that I had to do things that make me feel good. I tried to get into barre, and I’ve done some walks and such.

But at the end of the day, I know I need a hard cardio workout, and I love the MMA-inspired moves in this program.

002: A space to work.

I’m very lucky to have an office with a desk, a non-writing workspace, a bookshelf, and a bed for the world’s sleepiest dog.

My home office is always a mess, but it’s my space. And I’m happy that I have it.

Carving out a place in your home where you do the work you do is so important, because it makes it easier for you to get to work. So, even if you don’t have a desk, keeping your laptop in a specific place is a great way to have a workspace.

Everyone is different, and maybe you don’t like to sit and write. So find something that works for you. I like having a desk. But I’m not opposed to taking my laptop outside when the sun is out.

And if you’re the sort of person who is greatly affected by their environment, I recommend having a pretty space to work.

I keep a vision board above my desk, and I love to light candles and fairy lights while I’m working. But if you’re more inspired by parking your desk in front of a window and looking outside, do that.

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At the end of the day, it’s your workspace. So make sure it works for you.

Have a workspace that works for the kind of writer you are is key! Share on X

003: Refilling the well.

You can grind and grind and grind. But all that work is worthless if you aren’t doing anything to refill the well.

You can’t just keep creating. You may, for a time. But at some point, burnout is going to seep in to your work.

So taking time off to do things that make you feel inspired is key.

Usually I would recommend an artist date or two. But depending on where you are, you amy still be social distancing or on lockdown. So, maybe don’t leave the house under those circumstances.

Instead, I like the idea of just sitting on the porch, or reading a book you might not normally pick up. There are tons of movies that have been released on all the streaming services at this time, and it’s a great way to take in a story.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it works for you. So put on some headphones and listen to a record. Or bake some bread. Or call a friend or loved one.

Find something that will keep you feeling creative so you don’t feel so worn down by the end of all this.

004: Keeping the goal in mind.

Ah, that’s the trick, isn’t it?

It can be hard to keep making progress on projects, especially if you don’t remember why you started. And knowing your goal is the only way that you can remind yourself of why you want to keep going.

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I mentioned in my Camp NaNoWriMo prep post that you need to keep your eyes on the prize and track your progress. Doing those things will help you see how close to meeting your goal you are.

So when you want to quit and never look at the story again, just remember that you started that story with a goal. And maybe the story needs to be trashed or heavily edited. But maybe, you just need to keep going.

It’s nearly impossible to see the forest for the trees when you’re in the middle of a project. So know what you’re trying to accomplish and know how far you have to get there.

That will keep you working when your inner critic is telling you to pack it all up and call it a day.

What's in your Camp NaNoWriMo survival kit? Share on X

What’s in Your Camp NaNoWriMo Survival Kit?

How do you keep yourself motivated during Camp NaNoWriMo? How do you like to refill the well? What does your workspace look like? How are you making an effort to move your body so you don’t wind up at a desk all day?

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