Ask LH: How Can I Learn To Plot Before NaNoWriMo?

Dear Lifehacker, I’m a budding (not yet blossoming) fiction writer. By that, I mean I have really cool ideas whizzing around my noggin but am yet to put pen to paper or text to screen. To motivate myself I have registered for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Unfortunately, I’m having trouble formulating a plot structure and having it accessible and presented clearly.

Compare Yourself To The 'Old You' Instead Of Others To Stay Positive

When you’re working hard to change a habit, develop a skill or achieve a personal goal, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others. Doing so can bring you down or breed hateful thoughts, however, so you’re better off comparing yourself to someone you know you’ve surpassed: the old you.

Create A One-Day Productivity Contract With Yourself To Stay Motivated

Being motivated isn’t something that always comes naturally, but many of us respond positively to mandatory obligations. Turn that to your advantage by creating a one-day, binding agreement with yourself.

Deal With The Elephant In The Room First To Become A Better Leader

When you’re a leader, your job is (in part) to deal with the issues that everyone who follows you is worried about. If you know there’s an elephant in the room, be the first one to speak up about it.

Begin Before You Feel Like You're Ready To Conserve Motivation

Many of us want to undertake a project but don’t feel like we’re ready. We don’t have enough money, enough experience, or our ideas aren’t fully fleshed out. This is the perfect time to begin.

'You Learn By Finishing Things'

Writer Neil Gaiman is no stranger to finishing things, but he still struggles with it from time to time. His biggest piece of advice to young creatives? Finish what you start because it’s the only way you’ll learn.

Give Yourself A Motivation Boost With A 'Productivity Sprint'

When you have a massive pile of work to get through — or just feel like being extra productive — a “productivity sprint” can help you maximise your output and skyrocket your motivation.

The Biggest Failures Of Successful People (And How They Got Back Up)

When you mess up, drop the ball, screw the pooch or have an epic fail, it can feel like the world is ending and your career is kaput. First, take a deep breath and rest easy. You’re not the first person to encounter failure. In fact, some of the most successful, influential and inspiring people in the world have encountered some pretty major failure.

Turn Obstacles Into To-Dos To Get Your Projects Off The Ground

There’s a psychological barrier when we’re planning projects that says obstacles are in our way, preventing us from getting things done. There’s an alternative interpretation, however: obstacles are just another to-do.

The 'Equal' Odds Rule Reminds Us That Creativity Is A Numbers Game

You have as much a chance of producing a great work as you do creating something useless. That’s what the “Equal Odds Rule” says, and it’s a reminder that the best strategy for creating something important is to produce as much as possible.