You started out with pure motivation. You knew you were going to win. You knew this would be the year. Then, two weeks into November, you hit the wall. The car broke down, the kids have the stomach bug, there’s a crisis at work, and you’re barely holding everything else together. Now, NaNoWriMo seems like a distant hope. In fact, it’s not even fun anymore. You might even resent one more thing vying for your exhausted attention. Enter, your new productivity assistant: NaNoWriMo Bingo.
Think bingo’s just for old ladies and moms trying to win the swanky handbag at a fundraiser? Give it a shot. When we gameify our day, we’re proven to get more done.
So revisit your ‘why’, remind yourself you really do want to kick this month in the turkey neck, download the NaNoWriMo Bingo game and have some fun.
Stay Focused When You Don’t Think You Can Write Another Word…!
Remember, your brain is often at odds with itself. Over our long human history, it was generally a bad thing to strike out from the group and do something risky. I mean, do you want to get picked off by a half-starved, hyper-focused predator, or what? Not to mention, if you get rejected by the group, then you have to somehow stumble through life on your own without the invaluable benefits of social cooperation.
Because of these reasons, there’s a part of your brain that is desperate to keep you safe and ALIVE. Alive is a pretty good state to occupy. The problem is, you do have to strike out, take some risks, isolate yourself a little, and go it alone to achieve some of your most precious goals. So the part of you that longs to make a living off your writing is at war with the part of you that’s terrified you’ll starve.
Have a little conversation with yourself. (These are affirmations, by the way.) Remind yourself, aloud, how important this month is to you. Speak about how good it will feel to reach your goals. Then, assure yourself that it’s what you really want, that you won’t run out of food or end up homeless and friendless, and that this is an adventure to grow into the person you most want to become. Relax your inner guardian and focus your brain on your writing; neutralize the threat.
“Make it fun, and get it done!”
Check out this article from Entrepreneur.com. If you have a to-do list a mile long, find a way to make it fun. I know–how do you make cleaning the litter box or writing a tough scene fun? Set up a reward system. I love office supplies, and I think this is why lists are so effective for me. I feel a little dopamine hit every time I get to cross something off my list using multi-colored pens and a color coding system that I love.
Think about what you love, what you used to do in high school when you were spacing out. Did you doodle? Set the timer, tackle your bummer jobs, then reset the timer and let yourself doodle until it goes off again.
Treat yourself with a tasty snack (on the pretty plate), or a walk in the sunshine, or a conversation with a friend you haven’t spoken to in too long.
Is it bribery? Yes. But dangle that carrot without shame and you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Don’t Forget, You’re Doing This for the Glory!
It’s true, winning NaNoWriMo might seem anti-climactic to some. After all, there are no confetti showers, flashing lights, standing ovations, or cash money. But you know why you’re doing this insane exercise. You know what your deepest, driving, dream is. Maybe you’ve wanted to be an author since you were a small fry. Or maybe someone close to you sneered when you dared to speak your dream aloud. Maybe you have a story that’s clawing to get out and escape into the wild, to walk on its own two feet and take on a life of its own.
Get in touch with whatever made you want to risk failure this month. If the flames have died down, put a little fuel on those embers and fan them until they roar back to life. You have to want to do this more than you want a.) an orderly, peaceful life this month, b.) regular, wholesome meals, and c.) the illusion that you know what you’re doing and have it all together. Remember, if this was easy then the 80% of people who say that they’d like to write a book one day would ACTUALLY DO IT. Are you going to be in the 80% or the 3%?
Write down your long term goals and do what you can do today– that’s how you’ll get there.
To download the NaNoWriMo Bingo and get access to other NaNoWriMo resources, click the button below.
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