Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, writing is it’s own reward, blah blah blah. Drafting banter, perfecting a gorgeous sentence, getting to “the end” – those are all rewards, and some of the many reasons we write. BUT, most of the time, writing is hard work. Why? Because you, the writer, have a critical eye, and you know what makes a book good. You know that it doesn’t happen easily. In fact, it’s so hard people write blog posts about it!
I really believe in rewarding yourself as you accomplish writing goals because…you deserve it! But also, rewards are great incentives to finish said goals.
Let’s start with small/medium rewards for small/medium goals. What counts as a small goal? This blog post. Reaching a target word goal. A second draft scene revision. A final draft chapter read-through. Writing a query. A synopsis. Honestly, you can reward anything that takes time and effort on your part. The reward is the incentive to finish these goals that seem small but add up.
Now, what are some rewards? Watching T.V. Maybe an episode of Stranger Things (who am I kidding? You’ve already watched it). A bath. A book. A Skype-date with friends. An actual date. Milk tea! Sleep. Fun/free writing. Web surfing. Not twitter. Exercising? (No) Anyway, point being, when you reach a goal, you get a reward. You reach three small goals, you get an even bigger award (yes, it’s cumulative).
Now what counts as a big goal? Here are some big ones: Finishing a first draft! Finishing a final draft! Signing with an agent! Getting a book deal! Publishing a book!
And…what counts as a big reward? Personally when I reach these goals, I eat big meals. And that’s enough for me. I actually think this is more celebratory than incentivizing. After all, I eat big meals all the time…
So…big goals = rewards that have more staying power in terms of good memories and celebrating with people you love. These goals are such a long time coming it’s hard to plan rewards for them. It’s more like you freak out and then sit in a daze.
Anyway, the point of this post is to say: writing is not easy, and rewarding yourself is a great way to give your writing a break, to re-energize your mind and spirit so you can write some more!
So write! Watch T.V.! Write! Read a book! Write! Go for a walk! Finish your book! Sit in a daze! Rinse and repeat.
Here are some more ideas for rewards from WBP members:
Treat yourself (with food or a gift)
Make an aesthetic of your book, either for just yourself or to post on social media
Go to the spa!
Go see a movie
Buy yourself flowers
Take a day trip (I like to check out new coffee shops and cafes in my area)
Please feel free to share the ways you reward yourself in the comments below!