Nov 15, 2010

10 Motivators to Keep Writing for NaNoWriMo

I like to move it, movie it...

Well I told myself to slow down. My NaNo novel came to a bit of a halt last week. I just decided to give myself a day off, or maybe three, I'd reward myself with words later. Turns out, I'm a bit stingy with my rewards. This week I will have to work hard to push those numbers up again. I did get a few words in on Sunday, and I didn't let myself waste my time off.

To keep the flow and motivation of writing when I just can't get to the keyboard or pick up the flow of my story, I like to:

  1. Write something else about my character in my notebook, like a diary entry. This can help me gain some insight to her deeper motivation.
  2. Watch youtube clips and listen to podcasts on the craft of writing - there's so many good one's out there!
  3. Watch a flick or shows in my genre - in my case it's mystery, so I sat through a few good episodes of Castle.
  4. Go to the movies. You watch a creative story unfold and you're in a new environment, away from home.
  5. Take walks. My imagination goes into overdrive when I walk the dog. It must be because I can't talk to anyone, my mouth shuts up and gives my brain a go.
  6. Start recording my dreams, even the silly one.
  7. READ. I read books on writing, and look for the element I'm struggling with, like dialogue or structure. I'll also read something similar to my writing style - I try to read things that are simple and don't take too much thinking.
  8. Draw. I doodle, 'cause I'm not much of an artist, but drawing loosens my mind and lets me be creative.
  9. Listen to Audio books. Sometimes I don't write because I'm exhausted or unwell, at these times I find it hard to read as well, so, I pop on a Charlaine Harris audio book and listen to the story unwind.
  10. I listen to Relaxation and Meditation books on my iPhone right before bed.
Is your story flowing or trickling? Do you keep pounding on, or step away?


  1. THese are great! Thanks for posting them.

  2. I was hoping to write on the weekend but time ran out. I was so busy. The most I managed was to write a couple of blog posts between talks at a writer's conference. I've hit a difficult part in my NaNo novel.

    Great list of motivators :)

  3. Even though I'm reaching my word goal most of the days I write, my story kind of ebbs and flows. I am really looking forward to getting to the end and going at it with a word cleaver. I'm hoping that the pieces that don't fit where they are (like my character faking a stomach ache and then actually having the flu) will fit somewhere else.

  4. These are all great tips. They help you with your creativity that takes a break from the current big project. I've been having dreams lately that involve houses, obscure passageways, older dwellings...hmmm. Wonder what that means. Good luck with NaNo!!

  5. I think you and I are totally on the same cycle. I took Friday and Saturday off--I was having money stress and was stopped up at the computer, so took a couple family days... movies with kids, cleaning for Christmas (which is not as distasteful as cleaning more broadly) Christmas lights up...

    I find when I am stopped, two things help more than anything else... I need t READ what I have because I have sometimes forgotten where I am, and OUTLINE a few chapters--I never fully outline at the beginning, but when I am stalled, the direction helps a TON.

  6. These are all very good tips. I agree w/ reading & w/ seeing movies as these can really inspire you to get back to your work in progress.