Five days remain before you’re assigned to a cabin and can start getting settled. July 1 seems like it’s awfully far away, but you know how time flies.
If this is anything like summer camp IRL—okay, it’s not, but work with me here—you probably shouldn’t wait any longer to start packing your virtual suitcase.
Thankfully, no one likes packing, so I’ve compiled a list of things you’ll want to remember to bring with you to Camp.
(Rough) plot outline
You don’t need to know exactly where you’re story is going to—in fact, not knowing how all the pieces of your story fit together when you start is half the fun. It’s a good idea to have a general direction to travel in, though. It can be as simple as one crumpled-up Post-It note with key plot points listed on it.
Coffee, tea or snacks
You might need something to keep you awake, but you might also need something to remind yourself you’re still a living, breathing human who has basic biological needs. If you’re on a roll, sometimes hours can go by before you realize it’s past dinnertime and you haven’t stopped to feed your brain. (I’d gone on a rant about choosing healthy snacks, but alas, I’ll refrain.)
Excuse me, what? Yes, have a pair of good tennis shoes/running shoes/sneakers (wherever you are, whatever you call them) nearby. You won’t need to run from your own villains—they’re make-believe, remember. But as you write, you’ll have “brain droughts” and need to give yourself time to refresh. Get outside for a while and do something active to set your thoughts in healthy motion.
Otherwise known as, “bashful ubiquitous ghost” spray. Ever wonder where that sudden onset of doubt and panic while working on your novel comes from? Bashful, ubiquitous ghosts like to think they’re hanging around to help you, but they’ll only slow down your progress. They build nests in our brains and make us believe we’re writing mush instead of gold, and B.U.G. spray is the only way to keep them at a safe distance from your writing space.
Check out Camp NaNo’s writing resources for more tips on how to boost your literary confidence and get your ideas ready to play nice.
A great way to track your Camp progress, if the built-in stats tracker isn’t enough to keep you going, is to create your own month-long calendar to write down your daily word goals and motivate yourself to reach them (and reward yourself for passing them, on a really good day). This can also be a nice creative DIY project to keep you occupied while you’re waiting for July to hurry up and get here already.
If it’s not your phone, it’s the wireless Internet connection on your laptop. Distractions are the number-one cause of NaNo non-winnery (or at least, I like to believe so), but you don’t have to fall into the trap. Apps like OmmWriter can help you keep your Camp project in focus and at the top of your priority list (I happen to like it, no OmmWriter beasts are compensating me for saying so).
Last but not least—this didn’t make the actual list, but it’s worth mentioning—you are more than welcome to join me on this fun-filled literary adventure! Maybe we’ll even be able to “meet up” once cabin assignment day arrives!
So what are you waiting for? Sign up and start packing!
Logo courtesy of Camp NaNoWriMo.org.
Images courtesy of Novelty Revisions.
A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.