A while back during a writer chat, I was inspired by a writer friend to create #WriteJar. Since early October when I started doing this, I’ve been hit or miss on several occasions. Some days I write a lot and other days I don’t. The money I “earned” from writing has all been spent. Mostly on cab fare. As for earning money for various writing accomplishments, didn’t happen much. I still avoided the things I don’t like to do as much as writing.
Just prior to the start of 2015, I decided to revise my #WriteJar system. I stopped using cash to avoid borrowing from the jar whenever I was short a dollar or two. I also scrapped the idea of earning more for the more difficult tasks. What do I do now? I’m glad you asked.
Sticky notes. I use sticky notes to keep track of when I’ve written. For each episode of writing per day (I tend to write in small chunks (thanks #10MinuteNovelists!), I take a small sticky and list three things:
· The date
· The number of words I wrote
· My mood while writing
The first two things on the sticky are pretty self-explanatory. As for tracking my mood, I find this important for days when I’m really struggling to write. It’s a way to look back, reflect, and encourage myself through the hard times. Like on January 29th, 2015: I wrote 398 words during my lunch break. My mood was “sad, down.” Is 398 words a lot? Not really, especially if I compare it to the days when I’ve banged out 5k words in a few hours. The point is, I wrote despite feeling sad and down. On January 1, 2015: I wrote 3,041 words. I started a new story idea and wrote “done” several times as I checked off corrections made in my novel. My mood? Determined.
See how it works? Since I started this on January 1st, I’ve put thirty sticky notes in my #WriteJar. There will be another one in there by the end of today.
Since I still love the idea of a reward system, I plan to reward myself after I have fifty slips in the jar. Right now, I have my eye on a pair of boots. I’m a sucker for a pair of cute shoes. Probably I will keep the rewards to a limit of $50 spent, which makes each slip of paper worth $1.00. Will I get rich with this system? No. Will I learn more about myself, my moods, and get some writing goals accomplished in the process? Yes. And I’ll reward myself with cute shoes, books, and maybe a writing conference along the way.
Are you a writer? Consider joining the #WriteJar revolution or the #10MinuteNovelist group. Write some. Reward yourself.