Conquering NaNoWriMo: Two Ways to Perk Up Your Writing Brain and Push through to the Finish Line!


Now that you’ve been writing for 27 days, your brain is primed for a mega-brainstorming session. As you’ve been busy writing, your thinking brain focused on harboring and percolating that massive amount of new material you and your marvelous mind have created. Unlike any other time, your writing brain is primed to offer up fresh ideas regarding what you’ve written so far and what needs to be in whatever new writing awaits. In fact, if you merely sit quietly with your writing brain for a few long minutes before delving back into writing, it will start linking all those percolating thoughts together and sparking new neuronal connections. Your brain has been as focused on this work as your mind (more so, if you add in what happens in your unconscious mind while you sleep, or do other things unrelated to the actual writing), and if you simply award your brain the time and attention it needs to process all this new input, it will light up and weigh in with fresh ideas. Your brain will pop out ideas faster than an electric popcorn popper.


We now know that rewarding yourself with something pleasurable leads to a dopamine release, but studies have found that anticipating the reward elicits more dopamine than receipt of the actual award. What does this mean? Before you sit down to write in these last, waning days of NaNoWriMo, promise your brain a specific reward, within a specified timeframe. You might want to post a reminder that pops up on your screen that says, “three hours until chocolate, two hours until chocolate, thirty minutes until chocolate . . .” (or a walk, a movie, whatever creates a dopamine drip in your brain). This way, you’ll be perking up your brain throughout your writing session.

Now that you’ve learned two new tips for firing up and rewarding your writing brain, it’s time to get back to the those NaNoWriMo pages!

Happy Writing!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s