NaNo Survival Kit (2019)

Is it too early to start making the usual 2019 threads? I hope not! I love the survival kit thread and got a bit impatient waiting for it to pop up! So what are some things that you need for NaNo (or simply just make tackling NaNo a little easier?

Here’s mine:

  • Laptop- I just got my hands on a rosegold macbook air. She’s gorgeous and I love her and she’s super light! I’m excited to tackle Nano with her.

  • Scrivener or Google Docs- I haven’t decided which I want to use yet. I love scrivener for the organization but I struggle cause I can’t access my work from wherever I want like I can with Google docs. I have no idea which will be my NaNo partner this year.

  • My Outline and character Profiles- As a plantser I need my semi coherent map to my novel. Sure its got a few missing spots but I still need it.

  • Headphones & music- I still use pandora. I don’t get too crazy about making a playlist for my novel. I just need background noise.

  • Snacks- Absolute essentials include coffee, tea, chocolate and walnuts. Let’s be honest I’ll probably include soda and potato chips too.

  • Easy to cook meals- This is always hard for me. I’ll need to start prepping this early.

  • Scheduled writing time- I started a new job recently and it doesn’t allow the same down time as my previous job did so now I actually have to make time to write. This has been hard so far. Hopefully by Nov. I’ll have a routine down.

  • My furry writing buddy, Delilah. She’s not so good for writing cause she has a lot of energy and doesn’t sit still much but she’s a good reminder to get outside for some thinking time.

This is it for me, I guess. There’s probably more I could include but I’ll try to keep NaNo pretty simple this year. This is my first Nano that I get to do while not in college or grad school so I’m excited.

What’s in your survival kit?


This is my first Nanowrimo rodeo so… I don’t know! Here’s what I am hoping to include:

  • A spooky/fall novel to dive into when I get overwhelmed

  • My beautiful new notebook for ideas and outlining/ characters

  • My Yoga Laptop + New charger

  • Lotr soundtracks+ special novel playlist (in the works)

  • Favorite Teas, Coffees, and Homemade Chexmix

  • Favorite cozy blanket

  • My planner+ meals preprepped!

  • Two curious kittens hahaha

I am so excited to dive. Excited and overwhelmed.


I’ve yet to succeed, but!

  1. Laptop & Google Drives/Docs - essential for on the go writing between machines
  2. Tea! All the tea
  3. Snacks
  4. The Library
  5. NaNo Research Forums & the internet in general for research
  6. Cats (variable)
  7. Time
  8. Writing buddies! Keep me accountable with word count

That’s the essentials. Everything else is workable. :slight_smile:

  • Laptop
  • Scrivener to write in
  • Google docs for backing up and for writing on the go
  • cozy sweaters
  • tea
  • music
  • earbuds
  • water
  • series/world bible

Ooo. Let’s see…

-Laptop (phone in a pinch if I get an idea on the go.)
-4theWords for all the motivation when I hit writer’s block and some extra motivation!
-Coffee and pop for my drinks of choice. For those early mornings or late night writing sessions. Water to stay hydrated.
-Earbuds to play music on (mostly video game soundtracks)
-Notes for the stuff I plan, mostly character sheets
-Since November starts to get cold where I am, finger-less gloves for typing.

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  1. Chromebook.
  2. Google docs for outline and writing.
  3. Spiral notebook for hand-written notes.
  4. A clean house (a thorough house cleaning is my Halloween celebration).
  5. Music and headphones.
  6. Favorite spot at my library.
  7. Strings lights and an electric candle when I’m at home because the change away from Daylight Savings always depresses me a bit at first.
  8. Healthy snacks, sleep, and exercise to keep my mind sharp and creativity center fueled.

I tend to wing NaNo with no survival kit. This year I decided to create one, since it’s been a few years since I won NaNo. There are in no given order of importance.

  1. Coffee, tea and water to drink.
  2. Macbook
  3. Scrivener
  4. A throw to cover up my legs and feet so I don’t get cold while writing in my chair.
  5. My Marshmal Park stuffie to snuggle when I am not typing.
  6. All my notes for my novel.
  7. Simple snacks to grab and eat.

That’s all I have for now. I will update if I think of anything else!


I don’t tend to have an official kit really, it’s just my usual supplies for writing all year-round just with a November twist? :joy:

  1. Scrivener - literal life saver for me as I’'m writing a series and I need to keep referring back to the previous parts for random details.

  2. Scented Candles - Specifically either Black Cherry or something Autumnal to keep my room feeling cosy

  3. My bullet Journal - As well as using the nano site, i like to keep a record of my word count with the rest of my notes. It also has quite a few moodboards and song recs in it so it’s a one-stop-shop for inspiration.

  4. Coffee - I drink far too much considering I do most of my writing between 7pm and 3am but it keeps me going! Also November is prime time for Christmas flavours!

  5. Spotify - Another life saver as I live in a very loud household (which is also why I write in the middle of the night lol)

  6. My writing buddies on both the site and Discord - I have a few friends from past camp nanowrimos that I try to check in with during November to see if they’re writing, and of course I tendd to lurk around the forums too :wink: Feel free to add me as a buddy if you want!


1 - My computer or iPad if I go write at the local cafe
2 - Tea, lots of tea with a side of pumpkin spice matcha latte too.
3 - Veggies snacks with spinach dip.
4 - And old pen I can chew on when I need to think.
5 - My playlist. I can write without it.
6 - My Discord buddies. They’re the best to bounce ideas to.

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My Alphasmart Neo 2
Water bottle
my playlist
My bullet journal
my chiropractor appointments
Google Drive
The Harry Potter crawl
a warm fuzzy blanket

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  • My laptop, Idris - a two-year-old Acer Aspire running Windows 10.
  • Scrivener. I recently migrated all of my WIPs over after buying a licence (my reward for winning Camp in July), and have been spending the last month and a half learning all its ins and outs. This year’s NaNovel will be the first project I’ll be writing in it from start to finish.
  • Spotify, for listening to my NaNo playlist.
  • Snacks. Lots of snacks.
  • My meds - antidepressants for depression and anxiety, beta blockers for migraines, and my allergy meds for hayfever (NaNo is in spring here so my allergies go haywire - I’d rather not be sneezing all over my laptop).
  • Discord, for chatting with WriMos in my region.
  • My Nintendo Switch, for stress relief and breaks.

I love getting the chance to see everyone’s NaNo Survival items! Having only attempted NaNo once before, it definitely helps me consider things I hadn’t thought of adding before!

  • My laptop, with Scrivener. I’ve drafted 2 projects using it, and I love it! Plus, internet isn’t always something I have access to, so this lets me work around that.
  • A USB flash drive. For backing up my work!
  • My outline. 6k-10k words of where my story is going and a few possible routes to the end. Without this, I won’t even finish the novel.
  • Headphones, Spotify, and Youtube. Music, podcasts, or background videos are a must for me. I like listening to a novel-specific playlist, true crime podcasts, Drawfee youtube videos, or writing vlogs (I’m in love with Kate Cavanaugh atm).
  • Coffee/Hot Chocolate. Or lemon and honey tea if I’m sick.
  • Crunchy veggie snacks and some kind of dip. Usually red bell peppers and ranch dressing.
  • My violin or my voice. Playing/singing songs is the way I relax and deal with stress.
  • Sleep. The most important thing on this list, since I’m a college student with a full courseload. School comes first, and I need to sleep to do well in my classes!

My laptop I write on my laptop, as my fingers keep up with my brain better on it, than in writing.

Scrivener! A must have since I first bought it, my favourite way to write!

My meds Gotta keep up to date on my meds. Antipsychotics, antidepressants, and sleep meds.

My Bullet Journal I guess? It’s my first few months using it, but I can’t wait to create a bunch of new spreads for NaNo especially!

My DIscord NaNo Rainbow group! A must have! I’ve made so many friends in this group, it’s full of like-minded people who all enjoy writing, being LGBT on top of that is just one more thing we all have in common!

Hello Fresh This is one of those food bags that deliver recipes and ingredients on a Sunday for the rest of the week. This cuts out big, long grocery shops, and makes dinner and evenings faster and more streamlined.

The NaNo forums, of course! A must have for me, they help keep me motivated, and give me somewhere to vent when writing becomes just too much!

Youtube and spotify Especially those ASMR videos of the Harry Potter common rooms. They’re so cozy! Plus, gotta have that novel specific playlist, c’mon now.


Can’t forget Blank postcards to make into handmade calligraphied ones for the postcard swap!

  1. My laptop with word text editor
  2. Pretty Journal and pen for taking notes
  3. chocolate and candy in my secret sweets stash
  4. my dog for taking walks to refresh the imagination

YASSSS! The Survival Kit is my FAVORITE thread, and, while it is still too early for me to start getting my personal survival kit together, it is not too early for me to begin following this thread and “liking” (thank you, new forums!) all the survival kits I find particularly inspirational!

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My survival kit has changed so much over time, but here are my staples:

  • MacBook Air - It’s tiny, light, and perfect for literally typing on my lap when there isn’t a table available.
  • Earbuds - For when I just need a little added inspiration but still want to hear the ambiance of where I am (usually at a coffeehouse).
  • Noise-cancelling Earphones - For when I need to be completely submerged without distractions!
  • Iced coffee - Also acceptable: cold brew, iced americanos, etc. Dark, like my writing.
  • Stickers - For my wrimos when they come to write-ins!
  • Google Docs - Easily the most reliable word processor available, saves every few seconds and works with Grammarly.
  • Scrivener - For when I’m offline. (God forbid!)
  • Spotify Premium - It has all my playlists which include individual ones for characters, moods, and specific scenes. Yes, music is co-writing this novel!
  • Big, comfy sweater - The bigger, the more comfortable, the better. I can write anywhere as long as my clothes are comfy!
  • My favorite water cup from Starbucks - Any other hydrohomies doing NaNo?

Good luck on your first Nano! I love your Survival Kit. My favorite items are the reading material (always forget to add that) and homemade Chex mix. I’ve never homemade it, my my husband has a student who gives theirs to all the teachers for Christmas every year, and I’m OBSESSED.

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This is a great tradition. I wish I had the self-discipline for this.


Time to gather my Nano Survival Kit for 2019!

  • My Acer - Awesome 4yo (soon to be 5!) computer that does it all. It is getting up there in age though and is becoming crankier every day I boot it on. It may be his last Nano :frowning:
  • My Nano Bullet Journal - funny thing, I’m a hobonichi girl. I can only journal in that wonderful creation that is a hobonichi. For Nano? Bujo all the way. I keep my trackers, my inspiration, my quotes and my social media planning is in there!
  • My snacks - mixed nuts, homemade chocolate chips, zucchini bread, Halloween candies, homemade cinnamon chips, etc. Anything that satisfies my sweet tooth.
  • Google Docs - The only thing that allows me to write at work (shhhhh don’t let my boss know!)
  • Coffee and tea! - I’m a sucker for both. Morning is for coffee, afternoon and evening are for tea!
  • Earbuds - I can’t write without music, and it may be inappropriate to blast heavy rock music at work :wink:
  • My dogs - It’s silly, but my dogs are big helpers! They force me to go on walks, take breaks and generally let go of my stress
  • Wool socks - It gets awfully cold in Northern Canada during November, and wearing my wool socks is a comfort of mine, and a tradition for Nano!
  • Alphasmart Neo2. This is my first NaNo writing with it, so here’s hoping it doesn’t crash on me again.
  • My laptop. Still gotta check forums and my regional Discord server. Might even hook the Neo up to it when I’m at home.
  • Starbucks. Need the atmosphere to write! The hot chocolates, iced teas, and creme frapps don’t hurt, either.
  • Headphones. I realized that I prefer them on even when I’m not listening to music. The music isn’t the necessary part, the headphones are. It makes me feel like a tool, but hey, writing goes better, so whatever.
  • Health. Nothing beats enough water and sleep to keep going, friends. Caffeine is not a substitute for proper hydration and sleep. Yes, I will fight you over this. It’s for your own good. :rofl:
  • Seconding the clean house. Need my stuff to be in order so my thoughts are also in order.