Writing can be difficult. It can be beyond difficult. We spend months and months writing over 50,000 words (or in the case of NaNoWriMo, we sacrifice sleep, food, and hygiene to write 50,000 words in one month long burst).
Then we submit our hard work to our beta readers with the instructions, “Be tough.” We basically ask them to rip it to shreds and break our hearts. It makes it better in the end, but man, it still hurts.
We’ve lost sleep over plot holes and missed sunny days to meet our goals. We’ve zoned out on entire conversations as we ponder story lines or dialog.
It’s a tough business, my friends.
How can we make it easier?
I was pondering this and it made me think of an example from my real life.
Buying gas for my car.
I hate it.
It means I have to actually get into my car and drive to the gas station. I’m not a big fan of driving (I mean come on the gas station is within walking distance—it’d be so much easier to walk).
Then I have to maneuver my car into the station around the gas pumps and potholes and fifty other cars needing to buy gas. And I have to do this twice because I forget which side my gas tank is on every . . . single . . . time . . .
To top it off, after paying the huge bill, I inevitably will forget to put the gas cap back on and have to buy a new one.
Buying gas is no fun. But it is necessary because running out of gas makes for a really bad day. It is a fact: I must drive, therefore I must buy gas.
A few weeks ago, my experience in gas buying changed and now I look forward to it.
(If you say my attitude, no cookies for you. This isn’t one of those posts.)
One word. Bribary. Er I mean rewards.
|Heaven..thy name is Slurpee!|
See my gas station is this nifty little place called 7-11 and they have the delicious little drinks called Slurpees. So if I go to get gas, I get a Slurpee.
How does that apply to writing?
Well, writing is going to be tough. Why not reward yourself for little accomplishments along the way?
When I finished the edit of my latest work in progress, I allowed myself to read Possession by Elana Johnson (I’ve been dying to read it).
Your reward doesn’t have to be big. (If every time you finished a chapter you gave yourself a free kitten and a trip to Disney World, things would get out of hand fast). Figure out something you love and use that to motivate yourself. Get a bowl of candy or grapes and every time you write a hundred words, you get one. When you’re finally brave enough to submit your story to your betas, go see that movie you’ve been dying to see or order a pizza. Or take a walk. Or buy a book. The possibilities are endless.
So go out there and get to writing. And when it gets tough—remember, bribery . . . er rewards!