Monday, November 3, 2014

Love Yourself through NaNoWriMo

We are three days into a month full of late nights, hair pulling, and curses lifted into the sky -- all in the hopes of writing a 50k novel.

Ahh, NaNoWriMo, how we love and loathe you so.

If ever there was a time when we needed to lather ourselves in love, it's during the month of November.

Today, I want to offer you a way to give yourself love each day during NaNoWriMo: the Love-A-Day Notes.

I started this little exercise about a week ago to give myself some a.m. love before I started the day. On Sunday, I sat and wrote my seven notes, folded each note, mixed them up, then placed one in each day of the week so that every morning, I would be surprised by which note I received. Make sure to do that throughout NaNoWriMo, too!

You only need three items to make your Love-A-Day Notes:
  • 7-Day Pillbox (which you can buy for cheap)
  • 1 pack of Post-its
  • Your favorite pen (or set of pens if you want to be creative and colorful)

To help in organizing what you'll write, think of NaNoWriMo as an event comprised of four parts:
  1. Ready, Set, Go - the first week
  2. Think Success - the second week
  3. Overcoming the Hump - the third week
  4. The Finish Line - the fourth week (and those straggler days)


This first week, we are so excited. We have a story idea, we've probably been thinking for a few weeks about our project, and we're anxious to jump in.

Write seven short love notes to yourself that illustrate that excitement, that make you want to sit at the computer and churn out words.


By the second week, many writers are either feeling "all in" or feeling like it's time to "jump ship." You want to keep the momentum of week one, so here, you want to write seven short love notes to yourself that illustrate positive vibes and endurance.


Week three... this week. Yeah, we know about this week. By this time, we're drained. We're probably walking around with an IV drip of sexy java. We're talking way too much about our story to people who don't care or even understand our excitement-slash-exhaustion. We hate our story one minute, believing we have unleashed the biggest pile of literary poo to ever be pooed, and then the next minute, we're high-fiving air, believing our Pulitzer Prize is on its way.

We have no idea which way we're going or why, so let your love notes for the week bring you back to your literary center. Write seven short love notes to yourself that bring you over the hump, that remind you why you write, that tell you the end is in sight.


I can't even contain myself as I write these words, much like how we feel on this last week. It's funny. Often, I feel just like week 2 here: A part of me feels "all in," and I'm amped and excited, but another part of me, the part that ALWAYS sees the finish line, begins to think the finish line is too far away and I'll never cross it--so, I quit.

For this last week, write nine short love notes to yourself that encourage you to keep going, that highlight your pending accomplishment.

We all need a little love when facing a challenging task. Why not be the one to supply that love during NaNoWriMo?

What are you doing to keep the inspiration flowing during NaNoWriMo?

Bulletin Board stock photography by iqoncept at CanStockPhoto.

Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator, whose biggest joys are writing and helping others develop their craft. She has published both creatively and academically and interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her author website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment.


  1. I could see this kind of affirmation working for people who face chronic illness. Great tip.

    1. Thanks, Diana. That's actually a great idea about people who face chronic illness using a similar technique!

  2. I don't know, Shonell ... I think I might just kneel on navy beans when I feel the need for self-imposed punishment ... but best of luck to you ... kick that 50k book!

    1. Christopher, I make my daily goings on about self-imposed punishment. LOL

    2. Kneel on navy beans. Love it! Might have to borrow that expression someday.

  3. I eat fudge. A new tactic this year thanks to a friend. But I'm gonna write myself love notes too, since I'm already behind. :D

    1. I'm in the same boat as you... minus the fudge. :-(

  4. If I ever finish writing the other books I started, I may try NaNo next year!

  5. This reminds me of the notes I used to leave lying around the house for the Hubster.

    This is the first time I've done NaNo, mostly because I was ready to start a new book. All the other times, I've either been over halfway through with the project, or in edits, not writing. But, since I always set word count goals, and the NaNo target is very close to what I try to do anyway, I signed up. It's an extra kick in the pants, but if I want to make money, I have to finish a book, so that's usually motivation enough for me.

  6. I'm with Christopher. I put enough pressure on myself and won't do NaNo, ever.


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