Thursday, December 29, 2005


Thank you for all the great comments.  I see I am not the only person with time management issues.  Lory, glad I can provide some inspiration.  Kelly, I remember when you were doing the 1000 words a day, I tried that one myself and didn’t have much success.  Tori, you’re in the middle of move.  I know my writing took a big hiatus when I moved.  Too many other things fall on your plate.  Eve, I can’t imagine how rough it must be.  Having to be the primary caregiver to another person eats the time.  For the most part, if my house is sanitary I’m satisfied as well.  Dana has found something that works for her.  I’ve tried to write at night and would probably succeed if I didn’t have a husband.  We get so little time together, he considers the hours after 9 p.m. his.

Teresa brings up my post for today.  The promise of rewards.

I remember as a child my mom promising me a trip to McDonald’s for lunch if I did something or behaved.  I do the same thing with my own kids.  On the flipside, if they do not do something or their behavior is deplorable, they get something taken away.

As adults we operate the same way with ourselves.  Lose ten pounds, get that new pair of jeans.  Get the promotion at work, go out for a fancy dinner.  Live another year, get a present.  

Does this work with writing?  

I have two issues with the reward system that has made it not work for me, issues I’d like to change.  My first issue is that I make writing the reward itself.  If my house is clean or I’ve got dinner started, I am allowed to write.  The big problem with that is most of the time I can’t accomplish such a goal.  The promise of writing becomes a Holy Grail, unattainable and elusive to all but the perfect.  And I’m not perfect.

The other issue is finding an appropriate award and a reasonable goal that makes the reward worthwhile.  Some days writing 1000 words is easy, other days 100 words feels like pulling teeth.  

I think rewards work, as a parent, I’ve seen them in action.  What do you think?  Do you reward yourself?  What do you reward yourself with?  By the same token, do you penalize yourself for not meeting a goal?  Would that work?