Since introducing #WriteJar I’ve been working on putting a dollar amount on my writing activities. This is the only way I can put together a good system to work toward my rewards. I love writing, but let’s face it, it’s just as hard (if not harder) than any other “job” a person can do. I mean, where do those words come from? How is it that we, as writers, fall in love with our characters only to later kill them off in some bloody, horrible scene? We are a twisted bunch; that you can be sure of.
So, to avoid not following through on a project idea and to get in some words (hello…got to get to that reward!), I’ve decided on the following:
Blog posts = twenty-five cents. I love a good blog. I like getting invited into someone’s life, learning a new recipe, or just plain learning more about something. I like feeling that connection with the blogger and learning more about the world around me. And if I’m not learning something amazing, I like to know that someone can relate to what I’m going through. In addition to reading a good blog, I like writing one. Maybe not all my posts are stellar (SFWC), but I’ll get there.
Book Reviews = $1.00. I love to read. Love, love, love it. But writing reviews? Ugh. It’s soooooooo hard. Never mind the fact that I read reviews all the time. My husband has convinced me this is the only way to be a proper consumer in this world. It doesn’t matter if I need a hotel room, a good restaurant, or a good book, I read the reviews. So, I should return the favor and write them. By rewarding myself with a dollar for every review I write, I’ve written two book reviews just this week alone!
Posting book reviews = twenty-five cents. When I write a book review, it automatically goes on my blog. That’s an easy quarter in my #WriteJar. And since it only takes a minute (longer if I forget my log-in password) to copy and paste that review to GoodReads and Amazon, I give myself a quarter for each place I post that review. More reviews equals more support for authors, which equals more quarters in my #WriteJar. It’s a total win-win.
One hour of solid WIP writing or editing = $2.00. This is often the hardest, most daunting thing I attempt to do each week. WIP writing is great when I first get the idea flowing or if I can get the inner editor tied to a chair, but otherwise, it can be difficult. Add into the mix that I’m a pantser and things can get ugly and mushy and all mixed up all over the place. Which leads to the hours of editing. Cutting, pasting, organizing, trying to figure things out so that they make some kind of sense is exhausting. $2.00 an hour is what I earned with my first job when I was fourteen, so I figure that’s what my writing/editing time is worth as a novice writer. Someday, when I’m a bestselling novelist, I’ll give myself a raise.
Social Media = ten cents. Everyone knows that social media and the author platform are the way of the world these days. And since it takes time to post and tweet and still write a novel (or two), I’ve decided that for every writing related social media update, I’ll give myself a dime. I try not to flood people’s newsfeed, but it’s important to keep networking. And ten cents to tell the world where I’m at in a WIP sounds about right.
CanvaArt = twenty-five cents. Have you heard of this? Probably you have as I tend to be a day late. But I love canva. It makes me feel like an artist. And simultaneously a struggling technologically challenged idiot too. But, because one piece of canva can tell the world about my upcoming novel or the promise of a dinner out paid for by my daughter as soon as I get that book published, it’s worth it. I count it as more than social media because getting the picture just right is difficult and I don’t “double dip” –if I give a CanvaArt update on social media, all I get is a quarter, not the additional ten cents. Don’t ask me why that makes sense in my head…you don’t want to go there.
Writer Chats = $1.00. I love the #10MinuteNovelist writer chats. If you haven’t joined us, you should. I host a weekly chat talking about writing related topics mixed in with writer support. I might just be the self-proclaimed therapist of the group…it’s a day job hazard. But that’s okay because I love cheerleading people toward their goal. The hour flies by and it’s a great time for fellowship and learning but the research I put into the chats does take some time, so that’s where the dollar comes in at.
Query Letters = $1.00. These should probably be worth $5.00 because it’s so much easier to write a novel than a query letter, but I’m trying to be reasonable. After all, the family does have to eat. Drafting these letters, whether I self-publish or not will get me in the groove of learning how to write the business side of the writing world. We’ll see how it goes.
And there you have it. #WriteJar is my business plan on how to pay myself for writing since I can’t yet quit my day job. The first week of #WriteJar, I earned just under ten dollars. Not a bad week, if I do say so myself. When I told my husband about this new idea, he was supportive, as usual and asked me what the money will be used for. I told him my lofty goals of saving up for a writing conference. Then, the night before I wrote this blog (less than a week into #WriteJar), my Kindle suggested a new book Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty…it costs $10.99 and I was swooning over the cover. I read The Husband’s Secret months ago and loved it. My husband took one look at me and said “Are you going to use your jar money for that [book]?” He knows me so well.
I’ll still keep working toward that conference. I went to SFWC in February of this year and it was incredible. But first, I’ll probably buy this book…it’s my way of saying I have no will power. But don’t worry, my lack of will power is only when it comes to books…and coffee…and chocolate. Seriously. That’s all. I promise I won’t sleep with your husband.