…yes, I AM in Third Grade. What’s Your Point?

So, now that NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close, I need a new system to keep me motivated and rewarded.

Because, y’know, bringing characters and stories to life is cool and all, but I really like updating my word count every day and being like, “BOO-YAH!”* Watching the word count bar fill up is fun. Seeing progress is ridiculously encouraging, and being able to look back on what I’ve accomplished every day is even better.

I could just write my word count in my planner every day, but I wanted something more visual, kind of like that word count bar. Soooo I’m giving myself star stickers. Here’s the chart:

20131128-112048.jpg

“TO DO: buy white-out”

I don’t plan on getting a lot of gold stars after this month, but it’s there, just in case. You never know, right? Reach for the (gold) stars.

Silver is my actual daily goal, though there will be many days when I don’t reach it, for various reasons. Still, getting a silver star is pretty darn good.

Green star? Hey, words written are words written. No day when I’ve created something is a waste.

Red star= no writing. I got a lot of those last weekend, right after my NaNo win:

20131128-112733.jpg

…and the days following 😉

No stars for days I’d planned to take off, I guess. Oh, and blue stars for editing. I expect to need a LOT of blue stars in January, as I prepare a ms to go for professional editing in February. Sending a cleaner ms = cheaper editing for me.

Cue panic attack!

I know, writing should be its own reward, and I’m acting like a toddler who demands stickers on a chart before she’ll use the potty. But it’s fun. I like putting stickers on things, and I like a visual record of what I’ve accomplished. Gold stars aren’t enough motivation for me to write 5,000 words of crap, which is good. But then, neither is winning NaNoWriMo.

I can’t pad my word count with descriptions of what’s in characters’ pockets just to win something. Can’t do it.

So we’ll see how long it takes for the novelty of this to wear off. I suppose if I also noted times of day I worked and conditions, I could eventually figure out how to optimize productivity…

Or I could just put pretty stickers in my planner. Whichever.

So, kindred spirits and others: How do you keep yourself motivated? Or DO you? Do you like stickers? I FRIGGING LOVE STICKERS! 

*Please note: I do not literally say “BOO-YAH.”

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

18 responses to “…yes, I AM in Third Grade. What’s Your Point?

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