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kaitie
11-19-2009, 06:43 AM
I went to a conference this week, and one of the presentations was about goal setting and motivation. One of the interesting points it brought up was to reward yourself when you actually reach a goal. I'm pretty good about goal setting and self-motivating in general, even if I don't always make the goal, I am always working toward it and am generally relatively close. I'm getting ready to start submissions, and I'm thinking of actually doing the reward system. In a way it makes me think of being five, but in a good way. :) I always loved getting stickers and what not. So maybe I'll give myself a piece of chocolate whenever I have a partial request, or something along those lines.

I'm just wondering if anyone out there actually does self-rewards as a way of keeping up the motivation. If so, what do you do, and how has it worked for you?

Libbie
11-19-2009, 07:43 AM
Yep, I reward myself. Usually the reward is a new book. :D Recently, though, when I finally finished my manuscript (or so I though...) I took a trip out to Yellowstone and Driggs, Idaho, where I grew up. Spent a week out there. It was nice, if a little snowy.

The Lonely One
11-19-2009, 08:05 AM
Like Libbie I think my reward would have to be publishing my stories/books. That's reward enough, though I constantly indulge myself with things I don't deserve if that counts.

Judg
11-19-2009, 08:19 AM
I wouldn't reward myself for something outside my control, like getting a partial request. Those things really are their own reward. But for reaching a certain word count, or sending a certain number of queries, or some other thing that depended only on me, that would be a great system. I'll have to come up with one.

For a while, a writing buddy and I went out for lunch every two weeks. If either of us hadn't reached our writing goals, she had to pick up the other one's tab. That was fun.

kaitie
11-19-2009, 08:33 AM
My thinking is if I get a request it means I managed to write a good query. ;) Though mostly I'm just trying to think of ways to offset the rejection aspect. I always try to look more at the positive than the negative, and this just seemed like a nice way to focus on the positive. :)

Topaz044
11-19-2009, 08:40 AM
I don't mentally berate myself if I reach a goal.

That's my reward :D

Jamesaritchie
11-19-2009, 08:31 PM
I've always rewarded myself for sales by buying something. I've been doing so for thirty years, and it's worked well. My wife and I have always had this agreement that I could buy anything I wanted, no matter how expensive or frivolous, if I earned teh money from writing.

But I have to earn several times what I wish to spend. The amount I have to earn in order to make a person purchase changes each year, depending on how solvent we are at any given time. Sometimes it's four times more than I want to spend, sometimes it's up to ten times as much as I want to spend.

If a thousand dollar fountain pen grabs me, "all" I have to do is earn ten thousand after agent, after taxes, bucks from my writing, and I can buy the pen.

I've always loved the process of writing, but while it may sound strange, but this has always motivated me more than anything else where the business side of writing is involved. It's really a mental game that works.

Judg
11-19-2009, 08:40 PM
Actually, I was planning on something similar. Seeing as writing income would be a second income for us, and we're surviving without it, 10% of what I earn will be mine to spend on whatever my little heart desires.

OK, now I need to go out and find myself a big, fat contract.

NeuroFizz
11-19-2009, 09:05 PM
When did the pride of achievement slip so far down on the self-reward list?

scarletpeaches
11-19-2009, 09:09 PM
When did the pride of achievement slip so far down on the self-reward list?This.

Sure, I treat myself to Colin Farrell DVDs and paperbacks and new pens and nice things, but...to be honest I'd buy those anyway. I'm just looking for an excuse.

Not published yet, but I'd trade...maybe not my Colin Farrell DVD collection, but something important...to once more experience the 'first time' feeling.

Sure, I've written books before, but they were, let's make no bones about it, shite.

The one I finished in April of this year (first draft at least), damn near pulled my heart out of my chest. But when I got to the end and burst into tears, I didn't know why I was crying - and so hard!

Took me a while to realise - it was pride. And you can't put a price on that.

Bubastes
11-19-2009, 09:16 PM
My rewards are pretty modest.

Sparkly stars on my calendar for hitting daily word goals.

Ice cream for milestone word goals.

Sushi or Indian buffet for big goals.

Yes, the pride of achievement is a great reward in and of itself, but it's nice to have a few extras to look forward to as well.

willietheshakes
11-19-2009, 10:01 PM
Groupies.

Wait, what was the question again? Rewards... Ah.

Well, I'm about to finish the whopping big manuscript, and I'm buying myself the Miles Davis Complete Columbia Recordings set off Amazon. If/when I get a movie deal, I plan on signing the contract with a Pelikan Majesty.

But mostly groupies...

icerose
11-19-2009, 10:18 PM
I've never rewarded myself for making a goal really but I did reward myself for the first thousand dollars I made with my script writing I bought a laptop and at my 5k mark I went out to dinner with my hubby. I plan to do the same at the 10k mark next month.

Dicentra P
11-19-2009, 10:33 PM
When did the pride of achievement slip so far down on the self-reward list?

Pride of Achievement only works on the days I love my WIP. On the days I hate it I need to do something to keep slogging and pull it together.

CaroGirl
11-19-2009, 10:35 PM
I've never rewarded myself for making a goal really but I did reward myself for the first thousand dollars I made with a laptop and at my 5k mark I went out to dinner with my hubby. I plan to do the same at the 10k mark next month.
You made money with a laptop? :tongue

Shadow_Ferret
11-19-2009, 10:37 PM
I haven't reached any goals for which to reward myself.

icerose
11-19-2009, 10:50 PM
You made money with a laptop? :tongue

Yeah it's really nifty you put these word things on your laptop and send them out and like people pay you! hehe

I meant to say with the 1st thousand I made writing scripts I treated myself to a laptop.

NeuroFizz
11-19-2009, 10:52 PM
Pride of Achievement only works on the days I love my WIP. On the days I hate it I need to do something to keep slogging and pull it together.
Pride of Achievement comes from slogging through those tough days and rising to meet a significant challenge. If a goal can be met without much effort, that goal is not much of a challenge and probably does require some bauble or taste treat to make one feel good about oneself.

icerose
11-19-2009, 10:54 PM
Pride of Achievement comes from slogging through those tough days and rising to meet a significant challenge. If a goal can be met without much effort, that goal is not much of a challenge and probably does require some bauble or taste treat to make one feel good about oneself.

That's very true. I'm much more proud of myself when it was tough and I did it anyway.

Libbie
11-19-2009, 11:26 PM
Like Libbie I think my reward would have to be publishing my stories/books. That's reward enough, though I constantly indulge myself with things I don't deserve if that counts.

Actually, I meant that I buy myself a new book (as opposed to buying one at the used book store!) I don't have any books published yet. :D

Namatu
11-20-2009, 12:48 AM
Pride of Achievement comes from slogging through those tough days and rising to meet a significant challenge. If a goal can be met without much effort, that goal is not much of a challenge and probably does require some bauble or taste treat to make one feel good about oneself.I'm on board with this. I write slowly. The milestones are few and far between the long slog. I'm just happy to finally stand on top of the heap o' words triumphant (at least until I edit them). :)

maestrowork
11-20-2009, 12:55 AM
I reward myself all the time with the satisfaction of a job well done.

geardrops
11-20-2009, 01:09 AM
My friend and I go for high tea when one of us has finished (a) a novel first draft or (b) have started the query process.

Judg
11-20-2009, 01:12 AM
When did the pride of achievement slip so far down on the self-reward list?
Who said it slipped anywhere? One doesn't negate the other.

Most of the time, just seeing that I'm on schedule (when I am) with my word goals gives me enough satisfaction to keep going. But it's fun to have something concrete to aim for sometimes too.

Bubastes
11-20-2009, 01:17 AM
Who said it slipped anywhere? One doesn't negate the other.

Most of the time, just seeing that I'm on schedule (when I am) with my word goals gives me enough satisfaction to keep going. But it's fun to have something concrete to aim for sometimes too.

This.

I run half marathons, and finishing is rewarding enough, but I still like getting that shiny medal at the end too. Same thing with my writing. As Judg said, one reward doesn't negate the other. The mature side of me can bask in the glow of a job well done, and the little kid in me gets an "ooooh, shiny!" treat. Everyone's happy.

Kate Thornton
11-20-2009, 01:45 AM
Although I am fortunate enough to reap the reward of waking up above ground so far, I do reward myself when I do things I know must be done but are not high on my fun list.

These rewards include - but are not limited to -
Working on the fun stuff
Cookies (sugar free)
Playing with dogs/cats/computer/cooking
Reading just for the sheer pleasure of it

There's nothing wrong with shiny treats when you've been good - especially when you've been good to yourself and done the things you know will make your world better (like another 500 words!)

maestrowork
11-20-2009, 01:51 AM
I "reward" myself with shiny treats all the time whether I do the work or not... so what is the question again? ;)

NeuroFizz
11-20-2009, 02:06 AM
I see a difference between celebrating a job well done with a treat and suspending a metaphorical carrot as an incentive to get to that celebration. Self-motivation has nothing to do with the former other than being a celebration of its effectiveness, while the latter can be a substitute for or a sidestep of self-motivation. For some, this can be dangerous territory in a business like this.

Susie
11-20-2009, 02:13 AM
Yes, I always reward myself with guess what? :D

The Lonely One
11-20-2009, 02:22 AM
I see a difference between celebrating a job well done with a treat and suspending a metaphorical carrot as an incentive to get to that celebration. Self-motivation has nothing to do with the former other than being a celebration of its effectiveness, while the latter can be a substitute for or a sidestep of self-motivation. For some, this can be dangerous territory in a business like this.

Right. I kind of agree--if you're in it for the treat don't do it. If you can't write, then the next day you can't write, and you just don't want to, or aren't disciplined enough to get through the tough stuff...you probably aren't a writer (IMO). I think we all agree buying useless or expensive shit is fun and thrillingly stupid when you're poor like me, and celebrating, shit I celebrate making it to 5 o'clock. But there's something deeper propelling me forward. It's too dreary of an industry to stick with if there wasn't.

Jamesaritchie
11-20-2009, 03:07 AM
When did the pride of achievement slip so far down on the self-reward list?

Pride of acheivment is a good thing, and I suspect we all feel it when we accomplish something worthwhile, but there's nothing wrong with tangible, materail rewards, as well.

Besides, pride doesn't pay the bills, isn't nearly as pretty or as comfortable in the hand as a Mont Blanc. You can't hold pride and contemplate who used it before, wonder at their dreams and the kind of person they were, as you can a mahogany writing box crafted in 1810, or a silver teapot beat into shape during the Revolutionary War period.

I have a passion for antiques, particularly writing boxes, teapots, and weapons. The nice thing about this is that such purchases not only come from that earned ten percent, but they often generate stories and pay for themselves again and again.

Jamesaritchie
11-20-2009, 03:12 AM
Actually, I was planning on something similar. Seeing as writing income would be a second income for us, and we're surviving without it, 10% of what I earn will be mine to spend on whatever my little heart desires.

OK, now I need to go out and find myself a big, fat contract.

The system has worked extremely well for us. It takes the squabble out of money, and while I'd still be a writer with or without the system, it's just plain fun to have a solid, tangible item to work for.

And, really, how else can I justify buying a thousand dollar fountain pen, or a twenty-five hundred dollar writing box, or a four thousand dollar flintlock?

Without this system, I'd feel like I was throwing money away. With it, I have the pleasure of being a writer, plus some physical things that also mean quite a bit to me, and that I can pass on to my kids.

scarletpeaches
11-20-2009, 03:18 AM
And, really, how else can I justify buying a thousand dollar fountain pen, or a twenty-five hundred dollar writing box, or a four thousand dollar flintlock?Must you? I buy myself nice things anyway.

The Lonely One
11-20-2009, 03:35 AM
I almost bought a PS3 and two games the other day. Then waz like...wait...don't have job...rejection slips accruing...just payed off this credit card...

I guess you have to sell fiction to actually "celebrate" properly (or have other means of income).

willietheshakes
11-20-2009, 03:38 AM
I don't think there's likely anyone who writes for a self-administered reward (ie, my addiction to fountain pens) -- we're all grown-ups, and we can all figure out ways to rationalize our tchotchke lusts. The pleasure of completion (or of struggle, or of acceptance) is the bulk of the reward, in and of itself. But it also creates some nice excuses...

Jamesaritchie
11-20-2009, 03:43 AM
I don't think there's likely anyone who writes for a self-administered reward (ie, my addiction to fountain pens) -- we're all grown-ups, and we can all figure out ways to rationalize our tchotchke lusts. The pleasure of completion (or of struggle, or of acceptance) is the bulk of the reward, in and of itself. But it also creates some nice excuses...

We're all different. I've met a fair number of very grownup writer who write ONLY because it allows them to buy things.

I've met writers who actively hate every part of the writing process, including the completion, but who happen to be good at it, at least in a commercial sense, and for them, writing is 100% about the money.

maestrowork
11-20-2009, 03:44 AM
I don't need any excuses to give myself a reward or "shiny treat." In fact, I give myself a treat every day, all the time. Today, I rewarded myself a nice big cup of hot chocolate (and it was good) for no reason other than making myself happy. I travel and enjoy something good whenever I want to. Life's too short to hold back from ourselves. I don't write for the "rewards" -- the writing (and products) is the reward.

Of course, I do know others may see it differently. Everyone has his or her own thing. But that's how I see it. Every day is a gift, and every writing session is a blessing (I could be out shoveling sheep dung right now as a job). I don't feel like I need any extra reward to keep myself going, as if it wasn't something fun already.

I remember George Clooney saying, when asked if he took vacations, "Vacations? Going to work every day is vacation for me!" I can relate to him.

Jamesaritchie
11-20-2009, 03:56 AM
Must you? I buy myself nice things anyway.

Well, my ONLY income is from writing, and I'm not rich, and likely never will be. All sorts of things, ranging from food, clothing, shelter, health insurance, and even a thousand dollar operation on one of our cats, to unbelivably expensive college tuition, depends on my writing income.

If I were Stephen King or Tom Ckancy, my system wouldn't be a must. If I had a high income spouse or a rich uncle, my system wouldn't be a must. If I had a $150K nine to five job, my system wouldn't be a must.

But as it is, yes, it's a must. It means no squabbling about money because everything else gets paid before I do, and I have to earn enough not only to pay everyting else, but ten percent above that. This means I get things I could never justify without the system. I spend gravy money, not meat and potato money.

Writing income is always flexible, and it's too easy not to put in enough time and effort, especially enough smart time and effort.

This way, I figure out each year what we need to cover everything, and then I do my best to make darned sure I earn enough extra to buy myself something I really want.

And here's the thing; if, in a gven year, I don't earn that ten times the cost, I haven't bought anything I'll regret buying, nothing will go unpaid because I bought something I really couldn't afford, and I won't be one penny in debt because I over-extended.

Unless you are a Stephen King or a Tom Clancy, writing for a living is full of pitfalls, and none are wider or deeper than how you manage money.

Jamesaritchie
11-20-2009, 04:01 AM
I don't need any excuses to give myself a reward or "shiny treat." In fact, I give myself a treat every day, all the time. Today, I rewarded myself a nice big cup of hot chocolate (and it was good) for no reason other than making myself happy. I travel and enjoy something good whenever I want to. Life's too short to hold back from ourselves. I don't write for the "rewards" -- the writing (and products) is the reward.

Of course, I do know others may see it differently. Everyone has his or her own thing. But that's how I see it. Every day is a gift, and every writing session is a blessing (I could be out shoveling sheep dung right now as a job). I don't feel like I need any extra reward to keep myself going, as if it wasn't something fun already.

I remember George Clooney saying, when asked if he took vacations, "Vacations? Going to work every day is vacation for me!" I can relate to him.

Yeah, but George Clooney makes millions and millions and millions from his work.

If a cup of hot chocolate is a reward, then not much matters. I drink hot chocolate because I like hot chocolate, not as a "reward."

No one travels and enjoys anything simply because they want to. You have to be able to afford it first.

It's been my experience that if the rewards aren't important to you, you definitely have a secondary source of income. One that pays for your rewards.

maestrowork
11-20-2009, 04:10 AM
Yeah, but George Clooney makes millions and millions and millions from his work.

If a cup of hot chocolate is a reward, then not much matters. I drink hot chocolate because I like hot chocolate, not as a "reward."

No one travels and enjoys anything simply because they want to. You have to be able to afford it first.

It's been my experience that if the rewards aren't important to you, you definitely have a secondary source of income. One that pays for your rewards.

You seem to be turning this into this money-reward-job thing. If that's how you see it, that's fine by me. Some of us simply don't need that reward to write, and it's not about what we can afford and not. Otherwise, OK, how about getting myself a big yacht as a reward for finishing my book?

To ME, it's just silly. I don't write for that yacht, and never will.

MGraybosch
11-20-2009, 04:25 AM
I don't reward myself, but you can be sure I punish myself if I set out to do something and don't do it.

Adam
11-20-2009, 04:29 AM
I don't need a reward to write, but I bloody well want one! :D

I generally use cups of tea though, as I'm poor. ;)

willietheshakes
11-20-2009, 05:26 AM
We're all different. I've met a fair number of very grownup writer who write ONLY because it allows them to buy things.

I've met writers who actively hate every part of the writing process, including the completion, but who happen to be good at it, at least in a commercial sense, and for them, writing is 100% about the money.

I don't think you actually read what I wrote...

Of course having money coming in ALLOWS you to buy things. That wasn't the issue. What I was...

Ya know what? Nevermind. As you were.

StandJustSo
11-23-2009, 02:07 AM
As I edit the chapters in my WIP to get to the 'final' draft, the one I will submit to publishers, I get a huge sense of reward just from getting each one done. When my reader tells me the pace is good, the characters continue to be sympathetic and believable, and the story is flowing well, etc., that is a HUGE sense of reward for me.

I also like to do something for myself when I reach a goal though - bought myself an inexpensive MP3 player that plays videos, ebooks, and audible books, AND also records, so I can read my writing out loud and then play it back to catch awkward sentences and so on. I LOVE that feature, as much as I dislike hearing my own voice, lol.

But the main reward is in doing something I love, that I waited all my life to do, and the slow realization that maybe, just maybe, there are more days of getting it right than of getting it wrong.

jerry phoenix
11-23-2009, 02:48 AM
my reward for finishing a story is to title it.

Nya RAyne
11-23-2009, 03:13 AM
I reward myself when I finish the first draft, second draft, etc. And then when a full or partial MS is requested. Of course, my reward is always a wonderful bottle of expensive wine.

Now, when I finally land that agent, I'm probably going to reward myself with two wonderful bottles, and when I get published, because I WILL get published, I'll probably reward myself with a stroke or a heart attack, because I'll be unable to control my elation.

So, yeah, I reward myself!!

aadams73
11-23-2009, 03:10 PM
My paycheck is my reward.

brokenfingers
11-23-2009, 03:18 PM
For every five minutes I write, I reward myself with six hours of goofing off.

Obviously my WIP is going very slooooow.

kaitie
11-23-2009, 03:48 PM
my reward for finishing a story is to title it.

I just found this interesting because I didn't tell my title to anyone for weeks. Not sure why, but it was almost like a nice little "it's finished" nugget that I held onto for awhile.

I don't necessarily see a reward as the motivation for writing. In fact, I outright don't. I write and continue editing and working and I've never given myself a reward for any of it that I can remember. At the same time, and I might have mentioned this somewhere before, I have a somewhat hard time feeling a true sense of accomplishment. Someone said something about writing a novel being a big deal once and it seriously hit me as, "Really?" It might just be because I don't really have a lot of others encouraging me or making a fuss when I do accomplish the goals. I definitely feel a higher sense of accomplishment when someone else praises the work I've done. Maybe I'm just weird.

Anyway, my thinking of the reward wasn't actually as a motivational tool at all, but as a way to remain positive and focus on encouragement and achievement rather than "now you have to do this to get that new PS3." I haven't tried it yet, but I thought it sounded like a neat idea.

Wait, I'm lying. I have rewarded myself, but it wasn't for writing. I bought myself fifty dollars worth of really nice paper to origami with when I payed off one of my student loans. I figured that warranted a woohoo, but it wasn't as though I was paying off the loan to get the paper.

kaitie
11-23-2009, 03:49 PM
I reward myself when I finish the first draft, second draft, etc. And then when a full or partial MS is requested. Of course, my reward is always a wonderful bottle of expensive wine.

Now, when I finally land that agent, I'm probably going to reward myself with two wonderful bottles, and when I get published, because I WILL get published, I'll probably reward myself with a stroke or a heart attack, because I'll be unable to control my elation.

So, yeah, I reward myself!!


Or cirrhosis of the liver! :D

thethinker42
11-23-2009, 04:09 PM
Pride of Achievement comes from slogging through those tough days and rising to meet a significant challenge. If a goal can be met without much effort, that goal is not much of a challenge and probably does require some bauble or taste treat to make one feel good about oneself.

QFT.

When I finish a first draft (like tonight!), my little ritual is "vodka and video games", but that's more of a relaxation thing than a reward. A two-pronged cleansing of the brain, I guess you could say.

Otherwise, I usually just print the manuscript and quietly beam at it while my cat looks at me like I'm an idiot (cats are good for humility).

I do allow myself to buy silly things with advances/royalty checks, simply because I only have a few to my name so far. My husband and I are currently eyeballing a life-sized terra cotta statue (replica of one of the soldiers from the Great Wall of China) at the Exchange, and a chunk of my royalty check may pay for that as well as a new tattoo. It's not so much a reward for writing, just "well, we want this, and now we have the money".

Oh, that reminds me of one other thing: Publish a book = new tattoo. Don't know if I'll do it for every book, but I'm getting one for Between Brothers soon.

kaitie
11-23-2009, 06:37 PM
Oh, that reminds me of one other thing: Publish a book = new tattoo. Don't know if I'll do it for every book, but I'm getting one for Between Brothers soon.

As prolific as you are, I could see this eventually becoming a problem haha. :D

thethinker42
11-23-2009, 06:39 PM
As prolific as you are, I could see this eventually becoming a problem haha. :D

Hahaha...I'll just get LITTLE tattoos.

kaitie
11-23-2009, 06:58 PM
And if you run out of space for tattoos you can always start tattooing your hubby as well. :D

Phaeal
11-23-2009, 07:21 PM
So maybe I'll give myself a piece of chocolate whenever I have a partial request, or something along those lines.


A partial or full request or an offer of representation or a sale or bestsellerdom are all their own rewards. Also, they are ultimately beyond your control.

Reward yourself for the efforts you can make. Like, chocolate for every query sent out or five pages written or three hours of editing done. Or, on a bad day, a box of chocolates for every sentence squeezed out.

Mmmmm.

;)

thethinker42
11-23-2009, 07:27 PM
And if you run out of space for tattoos you can always start tattooing your hubby as well. :D

Hey, that's a good idea! :D

I still stand by what I said here a few months ago: If I ever hit the NYT Bestseller list, I will get the AW logo tattooed somewhere on my person.

DeleyanLee
11-23-2009, 07:38 PM
Depends on what you call "rewards", I guess.

When I hit "little" goals (like breaking 10K or such), if I feel I need it, I tell friends who are seriously into hitting word count goals and they cheer and applaud and boost my ego a little for the accomplishment. Most times, I don't.

It's been so long since I've accomplished a major goal (like finishing a novel), there will be some sort of reward in the household when I do again, but I won't be giving it to myself. My best friend & I have a long-standing tradition that the other treats to Chinese when a novel is finished when the MIP is ready to hand over for commentary.

bettielee
11-23-2009, 10:50 PM
Does dancing around like a fool count as a reward?

'cuz I do that when I reach a goal and not much else.

Oh, and go around patting myself on the back till my arms hurts.

That's about it.