NaNoWriMo 2022: 10 Ways I Encourage Myself to Keep Going
Has your NaNoWriMo novel lost its luster? Are you feeling a little frustrated by your word count or lack thereof? No you’re wondering if you should just quit?
Instead use these ten ways to encourage yourself, give yourself some much needed motivation, and incentive to keep going.
The word bribery usually gets a bad rap because it usually means you’re doing something illegal, right? You’re bribing someone you shouldn’t. But self bribery, I think, works really well, especially when you get to the point in your novel writing where it starts to feel a little drudgery, a little drudging through just to get through.
I love writing with music. I create a playlist for almost every single manuscript I write, but if you don’t like writing to music or you don’t need that interference when you write, then you can do music after the fact and have a dance party. Getting to listen to your favorite jam – whether it be Lizzo or Taylor Swift – and dance around your living room can motivate you to finish writing. Of if you do create a playlist, listen to it before you start writing to hype yourself up, giving your brain a clue that you’re about to write something amazing.
Movies and TV
I’m assuming you have at least one streaming service, or a stack of DVDs and Blu-rays somewhere so pick a few and use them to reward yourself after each writing session. You could do one TV show after each session and a longer movie after several sessions in a row. Do what works best for you and your schedule, but having something to look forward to really helps when you don’t want to sit down at your computer.
Video Games, Books, and Magazines
This tip also works for other things – not a TV or movie person, that’s fine. Use the same concept with making time to read or play your favorite video game. Say, I’m going to write for 30 minutes, then play for 30 minutes. We don’t always make time during our day for the things we enjoy, so use those things as rewards for all your hard work.
Food & Beverages
You can always have something to drink or eat when you write – your favorite tea in your favorite mug or something crunchy to snack on OR you can use food as a reward for after you write. I like to have a little chocolate after each session. You can also go to your local coffee place and write there, getting a holiday drink to sip on. Whatever you think is yummy is going to work – want to have a fancy yogurt or fruit salad, go for it!
The first few things on this list were smaller rewards, things you can gift yourself after each writing session, but I also want you to think about Milestone rewards. This year for NaNoWriMo I’m doing larger items for every 10,000 words written. I’ll be buying books, a new sweater, and some new nail polish from my favorite company as my rewards but you can also do fancy clickety keyboards, new video games, or anything that makes you happy. If your budget won’t allow that – trust me, I get that! – then combine some of the smaller items and have a longer reward where you watch a movie and spend time reading.
If you’d like to add an element of fun to your rewards, grab a D20 or 12 sided die and create a list of all rewards you could give yourself. Then after each writing session, you roll the die and surprise, you get a fun reward. If you don’t have any dice, you can also put each reward on a small piece of paper and pull one each day. Seeing what you get each day can be some excellent motivation to keep writing.
Plan a day off
This might be a bit controversial, but plan for a whole day off from your writing. If you are in the US and celebrate Thanksgiving, you could use that day but seriously any day will work. Grab your calendar and plan a day off right now. This works especially well if you are starting to feel burnt out, as we don’t want you to just give up right before the end.
If you are active on social media, you can share your journey online, find some new writer friends and connect with your community. And sharing gives you some accountability. You can get online and say you’re sitting down to write, then come back afterwards to let people know how you’re doing. If you are not on social media, or don’t feel like sharing, find a friend who will let you text them for accountability.
Join my FREE accountability group
If you don’t have any writer friends who will understand what you’re doing, then join my FREE accountability group – it’s not too late – I can help keep you on the right path, offer advice and guidance, or just be there for you when you get stuck.
Which item above was your favorite? What is something you’re going to try?
Week 3 of NaNoWriMo can really be frustrating – it’s the week where either things are going so well you’re flying high or they suck so bad you want to hide under your covers. If things are terrible right now, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. And just know that things will be better next week!