Posted in On Writing

Reward Yourself

I’ve written before about making writing goals but there is one-step that I left out of the goal making process; goal rewards.

As you can probably tell from the name, goal rewards are the rewards you give yourself for reaching a goal. While this may seem like a given for some people, rewards are a tool that many do not use.

Rewards can be anything from a bowl of ice cream to a cruise. I know of several writers who reward a page of writing with gummy bears. The aim of the rewards is to acknowledge the accomplishment of completing a set goal.

The one thing to keep in mind when deciding on rewards is the size of the goal. Small goals, such as a certain word count or time limit, should have smaller rewards. The smaller rewards should not distract you from the larger goals. If you know that rewarding yourself with 15 minutes of games will turn into 15 hours of gaming, choose a different reward.

Larger goals should have larger rewards. The more you have to work towards a goal, the less satisfied you will be with a reward you can get any time. If you have spent a year polishing your novel, you won’t be satisfied with a bag of popcorn when you self-publish it.

As with goals, rewards should be personalized to you. When choosing a reward, pick something that you want and that you feel is worth the work you will be putting into the goal.

Unlike goals, rewards should be separate from your writing. You may feel as if seeing your novel in print will be a reward in itself but don’t rely solely on that reward. At times, you won’t want to work on your writing, those are the times you need a different motivator. If you cannot bring yourself to sit down to write for the sake of writing, you may be able to write in order to get that trip to Hawaii.

Some of my favourite rewards are new books, eating out, dying my hair and spa days. What rewards would motivate you through writer’s block? Do you split up your rewards or do you have one major reward for completing multiple goals?


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2 thoughts on “Reward Yourself

  1. I did something sort of similar to this while I was in school. I would hold off reading what I really wanted to read that day until after I had finished all of my required reading. Worked pretty well! So, perhaps some people (especially those on a diet or on a strict budget) could choose to reward themselves with something they will do later anyway, but just wait until they are finished writing before allowing themselves to do it. Say, checking FaceBook or watching a television show, or reading for pleasure. Then, after they have met their writing goal for the day, they can do their other activities guilt free!



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