I've filled in the first couple of months on my four-month calendar. As I was writing in my "expected completion date" for the current project I considered whether I should plan a reward - which of course started me thinking about writing and rewards. Do you give yourself rewards for writing? Do you write a certain amount of words before you allow yourself to check facebook, twitter, blogs, etc? Do you get to have chocolate M&M's for every page you write?In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences. -Ingersoll
I took a Behavior Modification class many years ago in University. According to the professor, this method works well for people who suffer any number of psychological disorders - and it works quickly. No long drawn out psychoanalysis. Just change the consequences and you change the behavior. We had to design our own Behavior Modification project for ourselves. It didn't work with me. I think the problem is rewarding MYSELF. If I control the reward, I can't fool myself into believing that I'll actually withhold something I really want. Yet, I feel if I let someone else control the reward I'm behaving like a child. I think my problem is the artificial deadlines for an unpublished author. In the back of my mind I know there are no immediate consequences to not finishing my pages for the day/week/month. Now, long term the consequences are huge. If I don't write I won't get published.
As I've mentioned before, I have an in person crit group that meets every second week and I almost always have pages for that. Not as many as I would like but still, it has kept me moving forward - even if it is slowly. So, external deadlines and commitments matter to me. And it doesn't really matter what the commitment is, once I say I'll do something, I do it. I think it has to do with self image. I see myself as a "responsible" person, a person of her word. (this blogging thing is better than a therapist)
How can I translate that piece of logic into my everyday writing routine?
I have to see myself as a serious writer.
I am a writer. Therefore I write.
Do you use rewards as a way to motivate yourself to write? What kind? And how does that work for you?