Over at the Columbia Graduate School for Arts & Sciences, we found a handy piece of advice for keeping yourself motivated during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo): reward yourself when you reach your daily writing goals.

Here’s a great explanation why: “Some of us are adequately rewarded by the satisfaction of completing good writing. (We have an internal locus of control) Some of us need something more – tangible, tasty, real rewards. So reward yourself at points throughout your writing but only after you have completed something substantial. (No candy bar after each completed sentence.) Paul J. Silvia reminds us to ‘never reward writing with not writing. Rewarding writing by abandoning your schedule is like rewarding yourself for quitting smoking by having a cigarette … Don’t lose your good writing habits’”

This is our fifth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project.