Monday, October 17, 2011

Reward Yourself

Double meaning, folks.

First off, David Powers King is rewarding his followers for making it to the 400 milestone with a giveaway. If you aren't following this guy already, I really suggest you go and do it now. He is a fantastic blogger with great tips about writing and publishing. And he has just under 365 days to land a book deal ... or forfeit his dream of becoming a published writer entirely. Just look at those stakes!

Anyway, in this giveaway David is offering a chance to win four books:
  • Variant by Robison Wells
  • Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
  • Seers by Heather Frost
  • Beyond Foo by Obert Skye
Head over to his blog to find out more.

The second meaning of my gloriously thought-out title is the small rant I wish to present to you today. When I was just starting off writing seriously a few years ago, I read a load of internet articles on everything from writers' block, to vanity presses, to plagiarism, to plot structure - and everything in between. Of course, somehow, I completely missed the blogosphere on my internet wanderings, only to find it earlier this year.

However, one of the articles I came across talked about rewarding yourself in your writing. For example, if you can get your daily quota of words out, reward yourself by surfing the internet for a while, or by buying a coffee, or by sunbathing for a while. If you reach a milestone, like 25K, 50K, etc., buy yourself a moleskin notebook.

I've never really done this before - probably because I feel good when I achieve things anyway. One of the things I've learned about myself this year is that progress is one of my main sources of happiness. I get stuff done, the result is a happy Nick. And so maybe this is why I've never felt that need for extra rewards.

But recently, I've been thinking ...

... and thinking ...

...and thinking ...


... about how I desperately need a new laptop. Desperately. It was the cheapest one on sale when I bought it in 2006, and now it runs ridiculously slow for a computer made after the turn of the century, plus it only has 37GB of hard-drive space, low RAM as well, and the thing won't charge, so I have to keep it on AC power all the time otherwise it shuts down and I lose whatever I was working on. The screen wobbles excessively, and the mouse-pad sometimes decides to stop working. But worst of all, my computer doesn't agree with me having over fifteen tabs open in Google Chrome at any one time. I mean, how am I supposed to surf the blogosphere successfully, plus check Facebook, e-mails, and Twitter using less than fifteen tabs?

So, I've decided it's time for an upgrade.

But not yet. Later. I'm going to make the upgrade a reward. Allow me to explain.

On the last day of 2009, I had an idea for a fantasy trilogy. I can't tell you what the idea was, because it will ruin the twist at the end of the first book. But that idea made me realise that there was a story inside me that I really wanted to tell. So, that fateful night, I wrote the idea down in diagram form on a little post-it note, and began wondering how I could use it.

Almost two years later, I'm still planning out the story. I've come an exceptionally long way - don't get me wrong - but I'm still planning.

So, as the summer holidays are fast approaching here in the Southern Hemisphere, I have given myself the task of finishing my plot outlines, back-stories, world-building, and general and general what-why-when-how-where-who questions, so that I can finally get onto writing the thing. It'll be a stretch, but I can do it if I go all out.

Because of the size and scale of it all, I've given myself an extra incentive. When I'm ready to write the first draft, I'm going to go and buy a new laptop. That's my reward. It means I'll have it to write my draft on, and I'll be able to check out all your blog posts using over fifteen tabs.

And, if I'm honest, I'm actually quite excited.

So, what about you? Have you ever considered rewarding yourself in your writing?

7 comments:

  1. Of course! When I finished the first draft of my WIP I had ice cream for dinner. And ran screaming, "YIPPEE" all around the house, naturally.
    The real reward was the draft, though.

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  2. Hahaha, ICE CREAM!!! I've never really done it before because progress is a reward enough ... but this time, I just can't resist :P

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  3. Thanks for the shout-out and mentioning the giveaway, Nick. You're totally awesome!

    I should clarify that I'll never give up writing entirely. I just have 365 days to reach my goal before other priorities take precedence.

    I reward myself all the time. Good motivation. :)

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  4. No worries :D

    Oh, true. I should have known that! I wish you all the best anyway.

    Sure is! I'm discovering that :)

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  5. I know that this is elementary, but... I seriously made a sticker chart when I was working on my first novel. I can happily declare that I finished with 35 sparkly stars--and my reward was a much-needed date with my husband. :)

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  6. Haha, that's a fantastic idea! I should so have a sticker chart :) Good work on getting 35 stars!

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  7. I wish I'd had that idea when plunging headlong into the 1st draft of *my* fantasy trilogy! :P

    It's been...interesting. Now, instead of "rewarding" myself -- because I feel extremely guilty spending money on things that I don't absolutely definitely need -- I alternate spending time on things I like. If I get an acceptable # of words out, I knit, then I write more, then I read. That sort of thing.

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