Here is something I will never be able to stress enough:
We are writers, of course, and so we write and writing is, therefor, in its own way, the reward we all strive for. There is nothing quite as satisfying as just the right turn of phrase, laying the scene exactly how you want it, the character coming up with that perfect quote you will never, ever forget. I know that. You know that. We are writers. It’s what we live for.
But, it turns out, sometimes writing is not enough. Sometimes we need.. something more.
Needing that something more isn’t bad, especially during NaNo when writing is all you’re doing, pouring in every spare moment until you manage to hit your goal. We’re writers, so we love writing, but NaNo can get… a little intense. Just a little! Maybe… more than a little. Maybe more than that little more? Okay, maybe a whole lot. A lot of people put down NaNo part-way through because they’re burnt out, and if you’ve had to put it down and walk away, there is nothing wrong with that either.
If you’ve survived NaNo this long, good job. I don’t care if you’re behind count, if you’re ahead of count, if you’ve finished, if you’ve had to lock it up for your sanity. Good job. Give yourself a pat on the back, take a deep breath, walk away from the computer for a minute and look at the sky.
Unless you’re like, writing on a laptop or tablet outside. In which case, take that with you. You never know what some people are up to, and machines are expensive. But take a breather. It’s your reward for pulling this off. You’ve earned it. NaNo’s not over yet, but you’ve made it three Fridays, and I’ve got faith in you.
Rewards get me through NaNoWriMo a lot. I’ve had practice with the reward system. Every 10k, I wander off to watch a movie more or less themed in what kind of scene I’m writing when I break. Every 5k I take a few minutes and do some exercises, get my blood flowing and my heart moving again; it’s hard to sit down for that many words, doing nothing but writing.
For 50k, I buy myself the winner’s tee.
I also have practice on visually motivating word counts. I keep a wall calendar next to me all year, but I’m hardly ever without it during November. It has the daily on it. Day one, pass 1667; day two, pass 3,333. And so on and so forth. When I pass the number of a given day, I mark a check-mark on it, even if that day hasn’t yet come to pass. Every night when I’m done writing, I go to the day I’m on and write down where I’m at. I tell myself, this is what I wrote. This is where I am. This is how many more words I have on this project than I would have had if I weren’t writing.
As far as rewards go, the visual word counts don’t seem like much. But it works for me. Compounded with my other rewards for myself, this is charging and magnificent and exactly what I need. This is my reward.
My project’s almost finished. I think I can do it this year. All I need is a little more…
NaNo Goal: 33,702/50,000
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