Sunday, January 3, 2010

Breakthroughs that Lead to Rewards or Vice Versa: Part I


With all the soul searching going on about setting New Year's resolutions, I wondered if I'd ever find something concrete to hang on to. (Read previous blog on resolutions for some drifting.) In two ways, I've had mini breakthroughs.

One is in my approach to building a habit of daily writing for my story. The approach of looking at the numbers (word count, page count, time limits) weren't doing a lot for me. Approaching it from the other side, the reward...now we're talking! Rewards deserve fireworks. I'm on a celebration delay. :)

That's a big part of resolutions; the incentive of a reward. But what kind of reward? It has to be personal and something you really want to do. If a movie at the end of the week is a real treat, then that's a good reward. But is really something that inspires the task of writing? Is the reward something you'd really withhold from yourself or do it anyway? That's not such a bad idea, actually, to make the reward something you regularly do. The important part though is making the bargain that the reward comes last.

Writing a blog is my reward. True, call it rather a narcissistic (sp?) reward, but it fits as a personal thing I really like to do. The only problem is when I talk about writing before I actually write on the story. Or, instead of the story. I often take the reward first.

It seems to make sense, for me anyway, to tie the two, writing a blog and writing on the story together and flip them. The end result is simply this: that anything I write about in this blog is a direct result from my daily writing session.

No random topics for a while. My bargain with myself may change, but for now it seems to give me a good shot at establishing a routine and, if not a daily story writing habit, one I feel a little less guilty about. It may sound limiting for blog topics (especially if I didn't write!), but in many ways, it's the opposite. Two days of actual writing gives me lots of material. Do I need to talk about it? Well, yeah. :)

Part II comes from what I worked on in the story today and yesterday. Ever have a breakthrough in your story at a point you didn't even know you were stuck?

What is your writing reward? Come on, be a little narcissistic with your rewards. What did you write on today or yesterday? You did it so feel free to talk about it.

2 comments:

  1. I've gotten in such a habit of writing (seriously, it's my life) that I consider the result reward enough. BUT, I remember not long ago when it was very difficult to make myself sit my butt in the chair (Okay, it was already there I just needed to get off the internet) and write. For some, it was Bejeweled, or Solitaire. I had never gotten drawn in (if I'm to be honest there was about two weeks when Bejeweled sucked me in). My problems came from obsessively checking blogs I follow for responses. So, my reward was visiting blogs after I completed 1500 words, or something like that. Now, I research, plot, write what have you whenever I can. I'm a blog addict. I have three personal ones, two I haven't really spun off the ground yet, but I'm getting there. AND I co-blog at two other places, which I'd love to see these other two co-blogs really take off. The writers I co-blog with at Romance Roundtable are amazing, they aren't like RWR they are subtle but very thoughtful and always bring something to interesting to the Table.

    Sheesh, I totally went off on a tangent. Anyway, blogging is too much of a passion for me to be a reward or a punishment.

    I didn't reward myself for finishing the first draft of Priest but when it is polished and ready to go, I'll probably go buy a book or something. Oh, I know big reward, right? It's also an addiction.

    Food isn't a good reward system for me either. Maybe a hair appointment, it's one of those things that I do once or twice a year. Now you've got me thinking.

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  2. Renee, thanks for the thoughtful comment! You've got your priorities straight to get those 1500 words in before moving on to other things you're passionate about. I'm working on it. :) So, I guess I'm thinking of rewards more like priorities, but I love those rare days when I've got a respectable amount of words for the story under my belt. When I do, any kind of pleasurable activity seems even sweeter.

    Of course, this kind of thinking means I'd like to have the story words in early in the day. I'm almost thinking starting college next week will be better for my writing productivity than being home has been! I'm going to try and switch things up by getting up an hour earlier, get the STORY writing in, then get my son off to school and myself ready to leave for school. Even with homework, I'll be able to carve out a set time for writing in the morning and I think it would make the whole day better. That's my plan anyway. :)

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