Withdrawal is not pretty.
However, I did find Folder's Chocolate Mocha Swirl which is close in taste and half the price.
So please join me for a cup of Mocha Swirl and let's talk about the small rewards we give ourselves when we accomplish our goals in this crazy writing business.
|Bigstock photo - one of my favorites|
Writing is not a “normal” job.
It can be an extremely rewarding job but like most other jobs, it does have its pitfalls.
What are some of the pitfalls to watch out for?
· Motivation is one of the biggest pitfalls. Writing is not easy. Most writers have set their own times and goals, so it is up to them to accomplish those goals. It isn’t like you go to a job from 9-5 and then get a paycheck at the end of the week. You have to sit yourself in front of that computer whether you feel like it or not and whether you have been paid or not.
· Writing from home can be a pitfall when others don’t perceive your writing as a “job”. This can be a big problem if your family and/or friends think you are “free” to do things with and for them because you are home. Yes, you do have flexibility and can dictate your own hours, but it is very easy to get so over-committed that you end up with limited hours to write.
· Writing is speculative. You can write faithfully, but often you don’t see an immediate reward. You can have ten completed manuscripts, but if they aren’t published, they are not bringing you a paycheck. This can discourage a writer to the point that they give up and stop writing.
We could go on and on with other pitfalls and you might want to bring them up in the comments, but I really want to focus this post on one of the ways to overcome the pitfalls and find the rewards and positive aspects of writing.
Every one of the pitfalls also entails the rewards.
· Motivation. A person called to writing is usually highly motivated. If you are writing, you probably aren’t doing it because you “have to”. You are writing because you want to. And you probably LOVE it in spite of the difficulty and hard work.
· Writing from home can also be a blessing. You are free to pick your own hours. If you’re a night person, you can stay up as late as you want and write. If you’re a morning person you can get up early and pound those keys. If you are busy with family and other obligations, you can steal time during those moments that appear and write away. This flexibility is wonderful.
· Yes, writing is speculative, but when you finally get the “call” and you have those ten manuscripts ready to go, you have won the jackpot. Or maybe you take those ten manuscripts and publish them yourself. You have accomplished your goals and if they sell well, you have achieved the reward.
Now these rewards aren’t forthcoming on a regular basis like a weekly paycheck. And lets face it. We are human and we need to be rewarded for our efforts or we are inclined in our culture to devalue those efforts. Therefore, I think it is important to find ways to reward yourself so that you are inspired to continue to write.
Most jobs have the reward of a paycheck at the end of the week or month. So lets give ourselves weekly and/or monthly rewards. To make it more stimulating, we can even give ourselves daily rewards.
In order to reward yourself, you need to set goals. Most of you probably have a business plan and hopefully daily or at least weekly writing goals. When we accomplish those goals, we can reward ourselves.
So what are some ways we can reward ourselves?
Daily Rewards: These are rewards you can give yourself when you accomplish your daily writing goals. Those can be daily word count, daily blog post/comment, daily promotion activity, etc.
- Walk in the park or play a sport. (I play pickleball, but I don’t go until I’ve finished my daily word count.)
- Play a game (this can be tricky as you have to be disciplined to stop playing the game when you need to move on to the next goal. LOL)
- Do a series of stretch exercises.
- Pay yourself. i.e. Every time you write 500 words, put $5.00 in the piggy bank or jar. You can spend this for rewards or use it to promote your book when it is finished. Or it can be used to pay conference fees.
- Call a friend (Do not do this one if you are a late night writer, unless you know that friend is a late night person also. LOL)
- Play with your family and/or pets.
- Cup of your favorite coffee
|My feral cat Boo who loves a pet when I take a break|
Weekly Rewards: These rewards should be bigger than the daily rewards because you are accomplishing a bigger goal. You can add these to the daily rewards you have selected.
- Take a day trip with family or friends
- Go to lunch with friends. (When I’m home, I meet my critique partners for lunch and that motivates me to have the chapters finished so they can critique them.
- Get a massage
- Go shopping and spend that money you have been putting in the piggy bank for a new outfit or something that delights you.
- Read a book
- Go to a movie
|Hike at Red Mountain State Park, Arizona|
Other Rewards: These can include finishing a project, manuscript, proposal, setting up a promotion campaign, etc. Since most of these involve a bigger commitment, the reward can be bigger. Make the reward fit the accomplishment.
- Take a trip
- Plan a super date with significant other or friends. i.e. dinner and a play, lunch and day at the Art Festival, etc.
- Pay for a house cleaning.
- Attend a conference
- Buy a new car (okay that is a biggie, but hey if it motivates you, go for it)
|Suzanne, Sandra and Rose at RWA 2016|
So can you think of any other ways to reward yourself? What are some of the ways you reward yourself? Please share in the comments and be entered into a drawing for an autographed book and a surprise package of books to go with it.
I finished my current wip and since it is set in Hawaii, I rewarded myself with a spam sandwich. Spam is big in Hawaii. I also treated myself to massage therapy. Ahhhhh life is good.
Peaches are in season so I’ve baked some peach pies and made peach cobbler. (Disssclaimer: It won't be as good as Patti Jo's.) Help yourself to a piece and try a cup of my Chocolate Mocha Swirl coffee. Baking is one of my rewards also. I love to bake, but we can’t be eating all of that high calorie stuff now and it takes time to bake so baking a pie is a reward for me.
Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She lives in Arizona with her husband and during the hot summers, she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motor home where she enjoys the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Three of Sandra's most popular books are also audiobooks at Audible.
You can read more posts by Sandra here.