Thursday, November 5, 2015


Today I thought I would share my current setup for my desk.

Every year for National Novel Writing Month I get my desk re-set for the month. This year's setup is quite different from what I did last year (which was camp out at the kitchen table with a vat of tea and a warm sweater).

This year I actually HAVE a desk to write on, and I'm super excited. I've cobbled together the best setup I can imagine - the only thing I'm missing is a really good desk lamp. But I'm hoping that will come in time.

A few tips that I've learned from NANOWRIMOs past:

Keep tea as close and as filled as you can. Replenish often. 
Whether you drink coffee, tea, or just straight-up water, keep your hydration near you at all times when you're at your desk. This year I'm drinking my favourite drink - hibiscus tea mixed with organic Guyuasa. Holy yum.

Keep hydrated. Period. 
The first thing I do when I start running out of steam is hydrate. 9 times out of 10 that's all I needed to keep going. Hydration is what keeps your brain oiled up for creativity (ew, but true). When we get dehydrated our brains begin to slow down. More water is always better than less, so keep a cup of water near.

Also, snacks. 
Halloween candy is a favourite amoung NANO veterans - a couple chocolate bars can work wonders when you're in the pits of writing. But if sugar isn't your forte, fresh fruit, a few crunchy carrot sticks, some seeds and nuts, even crackers also make great in-action snacks to keep by your desk. My favourites are grapes, pumpkin seeds and pita chips. And chocolate.

Clean it up every night 
In chef-terms, this is called mise en place. Which basically translates to 'put everything where it belongs and you won't waste time trying to find it when you need it again.' Clean up after every writing spree - scoop the wrappers and pencil shavings, put your notebook back where it belongs, take stock of what you've written. Try as hard as you can to keep things, even your thoughts, organized. You'll thank yourself later.

Have a 'thought pad' 
Oftentimes we find the best details for things as we're writing. People's names, specific habits and traits - especially during NANO, we tend to come up with important details on the fly. Have a notebook handy to write down all those names, people, traits and details so you don't forget it later.

 As you can see, despite my desk still being quite a mess, I have a spot for tea, a spot for my art supplies, a little altar of inspiring people, a place for my notepads and laptop, and a big sheet of paper that I can jot down last-minute ideas (thank you, IKEA). I'm really loving my setup so far - we'll see what it looks like halfway in.

Writers - show me your desks! What are some tips and tricks you've learned through NANOWRIMO? Anything I'm forgetting? 

And, as always, happy writing!

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