Nanowrimo Guide
5 min read

Stay motivated and plan for Nanowrimo success 🌞

The NaNoWriMo logo on a gradient background overlaid with the text "Five tips to stay motivated"

Motivation can be an elusive beast at the best of times, and with the start of Nanowrimo on the horizon, you’re probably wondering how to keep up the momentum for the coming 30 days! Here are our fave five tips for staying motivated.

1. Create outer responsibility

Good news! You’ve kinda already done this. Joining a challenge like Nanowrimo helps to create outer responsibility by giving you a hard deadline. Our brains are pretty smart and can’t be tricked into self-imposed deadlines easily. This is why it can be so easy to let self-imposed deadlines slide. Not this time, brain!

Nanowrimo is also semi-public, which means it creates accountability and encourages you to see yourself as someone who does X (where X = manically writing a novel in a month). By declaring your intentions in front of your friends, family or co-workers, it’s that extra encouragement you need to succeed.

Other people will be doing it too, so it can also act as a form of “body doubling” – which you’re probably very familiar with if you have journeyed anywhere near ADHDTok. Short version if you’re not in the know: a body double is someone who works alongside you to keep your motivation up.

2. Break it down

Break your goal into comically tiny steps. If you’re feeling resistant to (or overwhelmed by!) the task ahead, make your steps smaller. NO, EVEN SMALLER THAN THAT.

To help you out, First Draft Pro makes it easy to set a daily word count so that you can work towards your goal in bite-sized chunks.

3. Build in rewards along the way

Keep your chin up with lots of rewards and celebrations along the way. Even the smallest win is something to celebrate! Before moving on to the next thing, allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. First Draft Pro will also cheer you on with surprise celebrations every time you meet one of your goals! 🎉

4. Beat procrastination

For a lot of us, procrastination is about fear. So don’t scare yourself with a rigorous and unrealistic writing schedule! Instead, try to tie your writing to something you already do. This must be something you actually already do like the day’s Wordle or drinking three cups of coffee in a row.

Anchoring your routine to your daily constants is an effective way to build a writing habit, even if you do those things at different times. Plus, being realistic about your writing practice makes it much easier to stay committed and beat procrastination!

5. Lean in to doubt

The only way out is through! Uncertainty precedes discovery! When nothing is sure, everything is possible! There’s a reason there are so many platitudes about leaning into doubt. Embracing uncertainty might feel uncomfortable at first, but the reward is totally worth it.