3 Ways to make yourself write

Everybody has their own tricks for winning Nanowrimo, and today I’ve gathered a few of these to help you get through the first full week of Nanowrimo:

1. Reward system– I usually reward myself with stickers for daily goals and sugary treats for weekly goals, and I save the nicest sticker I have for the end of the month. Other people reward themselves with new pencils or pens, fun excursions or plain and simple relaxation time. Everybody likes different things, so pick rewards that are meaningful to you–something small for your daily goal, something a little bigger for your weekly goal, and something truly rewarding for reaching your final goal.

Of course, having written a novel is its own reward, and you need to keep that in mind too. Just think about how happy you’ll be once it’s finished–even if it’s just because you can print it up and burn it.

2. Internet restriction– this can become a punishment if you fail to meet your goal, but it’s really about eliminating distractions. Some people completely turn off their internet until they’ve written. Others close the browser, and some just minimize it. Most people in this camp refuse to look at the internet at all until they’ve met their daily goal. A fair number of people write on specifically internet free devices.

Personally, I get myself to write by refusing to enter my local Nanowrimo chat room until I’ve gotten at least a thousand words down. Usually just getting started before I go into chat will make me more likely to participate in word wars, and often I end up not wanting to stop at all when I reach 1K. You can do something similar by refusing to look at your favourite time wasting websites until you’ve written at least half of your daily goal.

3. Make it easy– writing is hard, but there are ways you can make it easy for yourself. Most writers find having some kind of routine useful. Even people who can’t write at the same time every day can have routines for writing. Some people always wear a certain sweater or hat while writing. Others read a chapter of a book to get into the writing mood. Some find writing a basic list of what they did that day kicks them into the writing routine. Everybody creates their own routine, but there are some things that can make life easier for every writer.

Make your writing space somewhere you can’t avoid for long and make sure your story notes and sources of inspiration are close at hand. If there’s a drink you particularly enjoy while writing, have one as soon as you get home to kick yourself into the writing mindset. Keep a water bottle in your writing space too, so that you don’t have to get up right away when you finish your drink–after all, you might still be in the groove.

Writing a book will always be hard, and that’s what makes Nanowrimo worth it–the accomplishment. It will never be easy, but you can make it a little simpler by keeping everything you need on hand and building a writing routine.