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:
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:
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.”
November 28th, 2013 at 12:44 pm
You may be on to something! Seriously.
November 28th, 2013 at 12:45 pm
…because stickers are the best? 🙂
November 28th, 2013 at 12:48 pm
But, of course.
November 28th, 2013 at 1:17 pm
Cool idea. My problem is that I am such a rebel, when I set goals for myself, I fight against them. I write in spurts. I can write 500 or 5000 words in a spurt. I have to be in a spurting mood.
November 28th, 2013 at 1:19 pm
Whatever works, right? Spurt on, my friend. Spurt on. *high fives*
November 28th, 2013 at 1:34 pm
I think we have to do whatever it takes to keep going. Writing is a solitary experience – no matter the multitudes of characters and voices in our heads. So, stickers or chocolates or a well-deserved trip to the spa – we have to create our own reward systems.
November 28th, 2013 at 1:35 pm
Ooh, my kingdom for a spa! Or a coffee shop that’s not 45 minutes away, even. 🙂
November 28th, 2013 at 2:05 pm
Love this idea! I actually tried to do something similar a few months back, but I pretty much forgot about it after a few days. Siiiiiigh.
November 28th, 2013 at 2:10 pm
The best-laid plans…
November 28th, 2013 at 7:10 pm
I LOVE THIS PLAN! Now I want a chart too…I think I will make a star chart for excercising and eating right in the new year…maybe you could design one for me!
November 28th, 2013 at 7:12 pm
Of course. But it will be large and gaudy, and I will expect you to display it proudly on you refrigerator.
November 29th, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Really a FINE idea. And at the end of the month (or the end of a round of 80 days or so), a really SPECIAL sticker. Maybe a mermaid sticker.
November 29th, 2013 at 3:53 pm
Ok. I’m in. I just saw the word spa. Talk about a motivator. Hmmm … how about a massage every month for hitting my writing goals? Yeah, yeah … that’s it. Thanks for the inspiration, Kate 🙂 Now I just have to buy some stickers.
November 30th, 2013 at 11:32 am
I think no one ever out grows wanting stickers! I was thinking of doing something like this in January, however stickers would just say I did it and wouldn’t be limited to writing (do a workout, get a sticker). I’m still working on a system, but I got time. Hope this keeps you motivated.
December 4th, 2013 at 8:58 am
[…] last words, right? At least my star stickers are keeping me motivated (I’m not even […]
January 8th, 2014 at 9:41 am
[…] proposed. But, I was in a lazy mood and didn’t do much other than think that far. Then, Kate Sparkes posted her sticker plan. I took that as a sign I should get serious about the passing thoughts I was […]
January 19th, 2014 at 3:53 pm
This interests me. I came here from Gloria Weber’s blog. I like having a means to measure my goals. I also love stickers. I may have to wait a bit before I start (like starting February 1st). my brain works in strange ways and sometimes it needs a clear defined starting point (as in the beginning of the month). Thanks!
Have an awesome day!
January 19th, 2014 at 5:34 pm
I do that, too– often it just needs to be the beginning of a new week, but I know what you mean. Can’t start a new project in a half-used notebook, either. 🙂