NaNoWriMo Success Tip # 3: Some Days You Need a Pep Talk

Typewriter KeysEspecially in the boggy barren tundra of Week 2 of NaNoWriMo, you will need a pep talk. You will need encouragement. You will need people to help lift you out of the despair of your giant plot holes.

Trust me on this one.

I’ve done NaNoWriMo for 9 years, and Week 2 is the hardest of the them all. That and the week with Thanksgiving in it. It’s no surprise why the Night of Writing Dangerously comes after the midpoint and before Thanksgiving. About this time of the month, you will really really need to gorge on some copious caffeine and sugar with like-minded individuals.

Plus, you need the shot of adrenaline after all those late nights chasing plot bunnies.

You can get your pep talk in three different ways:


You have local writing friends you might not have met yet, but they will come out when your local regions have meet-ups in November. Many regions love each other so much they meet year-round.

In the navigation bar at there is a drop-down called “Regions.” I guarantee you can find yours in there. Or, if you live out in the wild tundra, away from other crazy writers, you can find your write-ins over the internet. Or coerce your local library into holding them – they’ll do it.

Video Inspiration

Maureen Johnson gives my favorite video pep talk of all time with “Dare to Suck.”

She’s one of my go-to’s when I’m worried that I’m sucking. (Which is often.) But so what? So what if I’m writing the most putrid collection of words that’s ever been committed to the page. No one will see it but me at this point.

Write whatever crazy, flamboyant, flights of imagination come to your fingertips. That’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo.

This talk from Elizabeth Gilbert on the nature of creative genius in another inspirational winner. It’a 19 minutes of pure awesome-sauce.

Official NaNoWriMo Pep Talks

The NaNo team is kind enough to put out pep talks each week from famous authors. They’re short, they’re fun, and the whole collection is archivedYou can search that archive by year or by author. It’s tons of fun.

Need a quick shot in the muse by Neil Gaiman?

Or Diana Gabaldon?

Or Chuck Wendig?

Go to the archive! There’s great stuff in there. Or go to this post from GalleyCat – they reference 148 Tips From Previous Years of NaNoWriMo. That’s a lotta inspiration.

One of the things NaNoWriMo has taught me is there’s a great big writing world out there, with much support and many tools of inspiration. You just have to reach out for whichever slice of it you need.

~ Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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9 Responses to NaNoWriMo Success Tip # 3: Some Days You Need a Pep Talk

  1. Hang in there. Keep sucking. (Fun video.)

    You’re doing good kiddo. Keep it up.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelly Byrne says:

    Thanks for the inspiration to suck, Jenny. Now I must get back to doing exactly that. 🙂 Happy sucking!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MichaelEdits says:

    Absolutely. Furthermore, I think the NaNoWriMo people should use the “you need more cowbell” idea in their literature, provided they pay you a licensing fee.


  4. yvettecarol says:

    I am so proud of you doing this. I’ve never had the guts. Keep going, Jenny! I’m cheering you on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: How to Survive “Turkey Block” and Other Thanksgiving-y Things | Jenny Hansen's Blog

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