Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Will Write For Food.

Deep in revision land is a place I like to call 'the motivation station.' It isn't much, just a small place I like to visit once in a while. You know, after I get over a major wip stretch.

But what can be found in the motivation station? Anything you like. It's kind of like the donkey chasing the carrot on a stick. We see something we want, we keep going till we get it.

But how do you figure out when to use this reward method? I have a few levels.

Level 3: Comfort food. There is nothing like finishing that tricky chapter (or 1k), rewrite, edit session and indulging in a cookie treat.
Level 2: Relaxation. This is when I'm taking a break. You know, when your eyeballs are ready to explode after reading your MS. That time is movie time, sleep, a hot bath, a walk -- whatever you like to do to relax is good.
Level 1: New books/music. Now I know books are something to buy at anytime, but finishing a first draft/major revisions means reward. That reward, for me, is a book or a track off iTunes. This works 2 ways. 1) I get inspiration from the music. 2) Reading a book helps with my own writing.

I love writing, but there's something fun about reaching the end of a stage with something to look forward to. A completed MS is a wonderful thing (and the achievement that comes with it), but I've learnt it's the little things can help push me that little bit further.

How about you? How do you reward yourself for a major writing achievement?

P.S. I'm also over on Operation Awesome today. Feel free to come say hi. :)

21 comments:

Hannah Kincade said...

I only recently, like November, began rewarding myself for writing. It worked fabulously the day I did over 7k! (that's a record for me)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i sometimes try to bribe myself, but usually just finishing ends up being reward enough.
I should, however, try to bribe myself while editing

Amparo Ortiz said...

I reward myself with Googling pictures of gorgeous men :)

Oh, wait... I do that all the time... *opens Google*

Sorry. What was the question again?

Carole Anne Carr said...

I find my reward when I receive another order for a book, or I'm invited to speak at another school. That is reward enough and keeps me working.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

LOL @Amparo. I love my CPs.

My rewards are like yours, actually. I don't eat a lot of cookies, but little squares of dark chocolate serve the same function. I take a break to watch a favorite show with my guy. And when I've worked really hard and am getting a bit burned out, I'll play video games, by myself or with my family.

I loved what you said about reading a book or listening to music. It's all research/inspiration to become better.

Sondrae Bennett said...

I don't reward myself but I think I should. 7k words in one day?! That's fantastic. I love the idea of rewards :)

roxy said...

I haven't tried the rewarding technique! Maybe that's my problem with revising. Thanks for this badly needed suggestion.

Sonia said...

I've tried to reward myself like that. Maybe I should!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't really reward myself for writing. I'd say play guitar, but I do that every day to relax.

Talli Roland said...

Wine wine wine! After a hard writing day, it's how I reward myself. It works every time!

Devin Bond said...

Reward systems are the best! I generally reward myself with ice cream.

Carol Riggs said...

Oh yes, I do the reward thing. Ya gotta celebrate the achievement of each step! Food, movies, books--they all work great. :)

Gale Martin said...

Of course, nothing happens until you finish that manuscript. But I find being able to post that I completed a first draft or first revision on Facebook is so rewarding for me. I like putting it in words--being able to say it--with conviction, knowing where that manuscript and I have been, that's what is truly rewarding for me.

KarenG said...

Motivation keeps me going and the writing itself helps to build the motivation. My favorite rewards are to go to bed early with a good book. And to spend an hour online with blogs and Twitter.

Colene Murphy said...

YES! Rewarding yourself is important, I think. But I'm a fan of rewarding myself for pretty much anything. Quitting a job, buy myself a present. Finish a task, reward myself. Get dressed before noon on the weekend reward!

The Las Vegas Writer said...

Rewards? What are rewards? Maybe I should try this out! So many projects with so many goals. I really do deserve a break. :)

Shannon said...

I do reward myself. It's usually with wine or a new Clinique product or a new song from iTunes.

Good post! Glad to see others do it as well.

If you get a chance, please stop by to read this week’s anonymous critique and share your feedback!

Melissa said...

Little rewards along the way make such a huge difference that it's crazy! I like the idea of reward levels though.... I need to use that strategy for editing...

lbdiamond said...

I got close to burning out in November. When I realized breaks and rewards were just as important as working, I reached a better balance. I'm glad you found rewards that help you relax but also provide inspriation. A two-fer!!! YAY!

Emy Shin said...

I haven't awarded myself for writing before, but it's a great way to add an incentive. On the top of my list would definitely be new books. :)

WritingNut said...

This is a great idea, but I think I already reward myself enough for doing nothing... yeah.. I have NO self-discipline when it comes to food ;)