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.
A new year means writing New Year’s resolutions for many of us. I am not one to write these, typically, though I often mentally think of them. However, this year, I did write a variety of lists, both personal and professional, in order to concretely visualize the goals I wanted to accomplish this year. They ranged from getting back on board with my vegetarianism to developing a consistent walking routine to writing every day. Below are my unfiltered writing resolutions from my journal. I haven’t looked at them since January 3.
- Write every day. No matter what. It has to be a necessity. Like brushing my teeth. (Do that, too.)
- It doesn’t have to be in a writing notebook. Journaling counts.
- It doesn’t have to be 5 pages long. 1 sentence counts. 1 sentence can be everything. Ideas are good, too.
- That said, plan times to write or you will never finish anything. Treat writing like it’s your job if you ever want it to be.
- Come up with some sort of payment system for writing. Maybe set aside a dollar for every hour of actual work?
- Submit some sort of something once a month.
- Look for places to submit to once a week.
- Use spreadsheet and update it.
- Get a complete first draft of “December” done by 2016.
I think, overall, my resolutions are pretty doable and reasonable. So far, I have been doing OK with the writing every day, though I’m not quite there. I would say I average 2 or 3 times a week right now. However, I have developed the incentive system (discussed in this post) and it is helping with the daily freewriting and writing in general. I have yet to plan times to write aside from thinking that my free days of Tuesdays and Thursdays are days I should use. And I have yet to submit anything or prepare anything to submit. I plan to check in with these throughout the year, though, as I want to actually stick to them.
Have you developed any New Year’s writing resolutions? How have they worked out for you? Let me know in the comments.
We’ve all heard the old adage that the hardest part of writing is actually writing. And how true it is. Like every year before, I am determined this year to actually write and to finish many of my started projects, submit more, and allow myself to actually be called a writer. However, I want to actually do it this year!
Since writing is not my full-time job–I attend graduate school for communication studies and teach–it’s easy to come up with excuses to avoid writing, aside from the general excuses for not doing anything that my brain easily produces at any given moment. So I’ve been thinking about developing a system to reward myself for when I actually do write and, thus, encourage myself to write more.
At first, I thought about 1 hour of dedicated writing for 1 hour of Netflix or something like that, but let’s be real, I’ll never deprive myself of Netflix, so it doesn’t really work as a reward. But one of my other goals for the year is to seriously start saving money for my post-post-grad life. So my second plan is to get some kind of jar and for every hour of dedicated actual writing, published blog post, submission, etc., put a dollar in the jar.
The other reasoning for this idea is that writing will feel more like a “real job” to me. In other words, if I have results to show for the work I’ve done, aside from nonsensical words in an insanely commented Word document, the idea of being a writer will feel far more real.
Do any of you have any similar systems? Have you tried something similar before? How did it work out? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.