Update: Writing Incentives

Some of you may remember I previously wrote about establishing a system for writing incentives here.

I started the system right after publishing that post in January. To begin with, I withdrew 20 singles from the bank and set up a plastic bucket with the words “writing bank” on it. Very official, I know.

The final payment system I settled on was this:

  • Post to blog:  .50
  • Daily freewrite for 10 minutes:  .50
  • Misc. work for 1 hour (writing exercises, research publications, reading, etc.):  $1
  • Write for 1 hour:  $1
  • Revise/edit/outline for 1 hour:  $1
  • Submit pitch:  $2.50
  • Submit story to journal/submit article to website/submit piece to contest: $5

I’ve finally reached the end of my initial start-up and here’s how I estimate having earned the $25:

  • 4 blog posts:  $2
  • Submitting a pitch:  $5
  • Submitting a screenplay to a contest:  $5
  • Revise/editing:  $2
  • Freewriting:  $11

Overall, the system has been satisfying mentally and financially. I withdrew the money from my checking and deposited it into my savings after I had “earned” all of it. I realize $25 isn’t much, but that also makes it more feasible to continue the system and to help continue to build up my savings, a personal goal right now as a poor grad student.

Additionally, I learned something I already knew–that my freewriting is most valuable. This is when I tend to generate new ideas or find ways out of sticky situations. Yet I still am so lazy that I dread doing it all the time. Writing for 10 minutes then going to throw .50 in the bucket makes it somehow more satisfying.

Have any of you tried a similar system? How has it worked for you? Let me know in the comments.


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