How Do YOU NaNoWriMo?

This year, I am determined to make it through the 3rd week of NaNo before I allow myself to get burned out! I’m going to make it different this year!

Over at her blog, Stevie Miller wrote about an idea she came across — making up a NaNoWriMo survival kit. There’s something to be said for seeing what works for other people, and it’s been fun reading up on the topic. I have to say, I quite like Stevie’s handmade kit, and it’s got me thinking about making my own. It’s got me thinking about rewards and mile-marker celebrations, and taking the time to enjoy the accomplishments along the way.

I’ve given myself the gift of a writer’s high by releasing Igraine’s Flight shortly before Nov 1st, so there’s one thing. But what about presents for myself along the way? Something more than just “I’ve got word counts!”

What makes it difficult for me to create this for myself is: I’m not a collector of stuff, beyond books. And maybe yarn. The rewards I want to give myself are things like: new yarn, or more books to read — which is fine, but also are nothing I can really enjoy during the month when I have to write 2k a day in between working full time plus.

I did pick up Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which I’m going to spend time savoring on my commute. It’s both a book that essentially cheerleads writing (yay!) but it’s also sort of memoir-y, and that’s a genre I want to read more, in preparation for my We Are Our Stories (for you Massachusetts peeps, that’s We Ah Ah Stories!) (the series whose first installment I have failed to write and publish before Nov 1st. Too late now. Oops).

I’be purchased Ruby Lionsdrake’s Frost Station Alpha series. And I bought Rebecca Buchanan’s A Witch Among Wolves. And I purchased C.E Murphy’s Heart of Stone. So I have things to read as rewards.

I’ve got dangling carrots, too, for if I complete it. Like this cat tarot deck that I’ll never use but will want to spend hours looking at. And likely This Victorian Life and Victorian Secrets, which were going to be birthday presents but instead were not.

And maybe that’s all I need for rewards?

What are your rewards for meeting NaNo goals?


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Miaërowyn says:

    Interesting! I haven’t thought of gifting myself during the month for certain goals…. I like it! Though I’m not sure how I should do it for myself with the song writing instead of novel writing. I suppose it’s a matter of lasting? A gift per week!

    1. Jolene Poseidonae says:

      This is why I’m sharing — while I know that celebrating mile markers with longer works is so, so important (because going a year or more mentally chanting, ‘still not done, still not done’ is a terrible thing), I tend to forget that this is a tool to be applied for shorter/faster works, as well.

      I think a gift per week is a great, great idea!

      1. Miaërowyn says:

        Yes yes yes! And I thank you for sharing.
        This makes me think of how things are when you’re a child, how you’re encouraged to do things and get treats of some sort. Why shouldn’t we be doing that as adults? I hate the mentality that we should only work for the sake of the work, that the product is the reward in itself. As much as work can be rewarding, we should still acknowledge our own successes and treat ourselves to things to reminds ourselves that we also need to take care of ourselves and find pleasure in things. We are not just or work.

  2. lucywriteson says:

    AWW that tarot deck!! ❤
    The last year I did NaNo, I allowed myself an overpriced coffeehouse drink at the end of each week if I kept my word count goals for that week. The caffeine force was strong that year 🙂 This year, I'm not sure. I like the idea of new books, though!

    1. Jolene Poseidonae says:

      I’m not big on reading Tarot, and I don’t collect a lot of *things*, but I want that deck like I can’t even tell you.

      New books are always a great reward. 🙂

  3. esaja says:

    i’m much into small rewards for reaching the daily goal. like two hours of playing diablo. or a chapter or two of a novel i’d love to read. or time to sit back and just listen to music.
    i usually make some very tasty tea before i sit down to write, with honey in it (just bought some honey today for that very purpose). this seems to also help with the motivation to sit down to write.
    mostly, though, the process itself motivates me. i love the nano-madness. and i love to watch a story unfold, while i’m writing it. i tend to not have a plot. mostly just some characters that interest me and a vague idea. its fun to see where it leads.

    1. Jolene Poseidonae says:

      That’s awesome that you enjoy the nano-madness! I’m envious. I love writing, so writing is a great motivator to get me to park my tush in the chair and write (Beth calls me ‘tappitytappity’ sometimes), but the pace of NaNo burns me out — and I know from paying attention to how I am with writing the rest of the year, that it’s as much the ‘every day!’ as it is the word count — possibly more. 2k isn’t a huge number of words to me at this point; but every day? Gah. Gaaaaah. *flail*

      So I’m hoping having small rewards will help me reset my “gaaaaah” mindset.

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