Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Doing It and Doing It and Doing It Well #Write More #NaNoWriMo

I learn a great many things from my students. By observing them I have noticed how most people detest coming to school. Regardless if they are kids or adults, it seems that most do not want to attend class unless they have a clear motivation to do so.

I understood this behavior from my own experience in high school and college. If I had a friend in the class who I wanted to see, I was more likely to attend. Looking forward to seeing someone was motivation enough for me to go to that class. In fact, I had a particularly amorous friend in high school who would only go to a class if it had a particular (or several) cute boys in it.

This concept of adding something "positive" to a task that you dread seems to also resemble the gym-buddy system that so many swear by. Apparently people are more likely to work out if they have a friend they are going to work out with--I have had only mixed results with this concept myself.

So how can I take this lesson and apply it to my writing:

1) Have special pleasures/bonuses associated with writing.
If you only get to see that friend when you come to class, or when you workout, but you really like that friend, then it stands to reason that you are more likely to engage in that task in order to seek that fulfillment.  So maybe you only get to listen to a kind of music, or eat a specific snack food, or go to your favorite coffee shop, or <insert positive affirmation here> when writing--that will certainly encourage you write more often.

2) Use the "buddy-system" for accountability. 
Like with the gym, having a writing "buddy" is a good way to keep yourself on track. It can be a writer's/critique group or simply another writer friend who you do sprints with. (Short chunks of time devoted to writing your butts off.) I also have a friend who plans to send me a check for $500 and if she doesn't make her word count by the end of the month, I get to cash the check. Is it bad that I'm rooting for her to fail? :op

3) Achievement rewards for long term projects.
Writing whole books can be really challenging. But if you break it into smaller goals and put prizes at the end of each milestone, you're more likely to get the work done. At 20,000 words= a massage. 50K words= a weekend off/away. First draft done=dinner at fav all you can drink wine bar....whatever does it for you. But make the prizes good, so that getting to the end feels like a sweet deal.


So what do you do to make sure the writing gets done?

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