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Staying Motivated During NaNo

Did you make today's word-count goals? Then it's time to reward yourself. Or if you're just getting started, here's a list of mini-rewards to look forward to. You may think of others. Motivational rewards should not take a significant amount of time away from your writing, and should incorporate activities you already enjoy. Now pick one and start writing!

Daily Word Count Mini-Motivators

The goal here is not just to motivate and reward yourself to make word count but to push a little harder. Do not do any of these until after you've hit your target. If you need to, use a kitchen timer. (The electronic ones don't 'tick'.)

  1. Two pieces of Dove® dark chocolate.
  2. One downloaded song for every 500 words.
  3. Motivational sticker on the calendar for today's date. (See the tips at the end of the quiz.)
  4. Read email.
  5. 20 minutes reading the NaNoWriMo forums. Add 10 minutes for every 150 words over today's target.
  6. A cup of your favorite tea or flavored coffee.
  7. Up to one hour of reading fiction in the genre you're writing. (Also stimulates creative thinking.)
  8. 30 minutes working on a jigsaw puzzle. (Stimulates other parts of the brain.)
  9. 15 minutes of meditation, yoga, or tai chi.
  10. 20 minutes of web surfing for every 750 words.
  11. A phone call to a supportive friend or relative. Let them congratulate you for making today's target.
  12. A 20-minute drive or brisk walk.
  13. 30 minutes of your favorite craft/hobby, or create a work of art.
  14. An hour of your favorite TV show.
  15. Play with your pet.
  16. 30 minutes of your favorite exercise or dance video.

Weekly Word Count Mini-Motivators

A whole week of staying on track - or even getting ahead - deserves somthing more, don't you agree? Just remember to keep an eye on how much time you're spending on these activities. Don't do them till you've made today's target word count but do ask people to join you. It's not a bad thing to re-connect with others periodically.

  1. A new music CD or DVD.
  2. A bag of gourmet coffee, or box of flavored tea or hot cocoa.
  3. A trip to the movies.
  4. Dinner out, at a place where someone actually brings food to your table. NO trips to your favorite night-spot. You'll be too tired to write tomorrow. You know you will.
  5. A new flash drive to keep backing up your novel. (You are backing it up regularly, right?)
  6. New item for your favorite craft/hobby.
  7. A new book from the bookstore, not just a surf to Amazon or Alibris. (Suggestions: writing book, novel, soduko/kakuro puzzles.)
  8. Bid on one ebay item - $20 for every day you made your goal.
  9. One new article of clothing or accessory. (Be careful! This is about rewards, after all, not a full-blown shopping trip.)
  10. One new scented jar candle.
  11. A 30-minute massage, manicure, or a session with a personal trainer.

Be sure to brainstorm other rewards tailored to your interests.

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