As we're in the last days of NaNoWriMo, and Bryon has pulled into the lead in his manuscript race against Dave, and I'm about 72 hours away from finishing my last book of the year, I think we should share whatever we do or use that helps us make it to the finish line.
My never-fail five:
1. Nice big reward: When I finish this book, I get to take off an entire month to enjoy my family and the holidays. There's not a better form of motivation than pending vacation.
2. Daily motivators: If I make my target quota for the day, I'm allowed an hour of reading for pleasure or a long hot bubble bath. If I surpass my daily quota, I get the bath or the book plus my guy gives me a back rub (his way of helping out.)
3. Serious breaktime: The pace of working during a deadline week is relentless and grinding; the last couple of days are spent in different levels of hell. I always work eighteen hour days, but I combat exhaustion by actually working only twelve of those hours, and breaking them up into three sessions of four hours on, two hours off.
4. Nutrition: I live on salads, fresh fruit and whole-grain English muffins, in small portions, for the duration of deadline week. I stay away from sugar, caffeine and meat. So far I've already killed two half-gallons of orange juice and God knows how much chilled water. I never eat before I work, only after when I take a break (also a nice side motivator to get me through a session.)
5. Well Refills: I listen to a lot of music during deadline week, usually in the car as I'm making school rounds but I also have my CD player close at hand. This book has me listening to a lot of Shelley Phillips, Branford Marsalis and Bach's Masses and Magnificats.
So what do you guys do to make it through crunch time? Tell us in comments to this post by midnight EST on Thursday, 11/30/06. I'll draw ten names from everyone who participates, and send the winners a signed copy of the mass market edition of Afterburn. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.