How are your word counts?
Mine have been okay lately, but I want to up my game and make them better than just okay so I decided to follow my own advice (Tuesday Tiny Writing Tip #44) and create a rewards system for myself. The more I want the reward, the more productive I’ll be, right?
So, how does it work?
Simple: I’ll be rewarding myself for different achievements, putting the money in the cute box you see above and at the end of the month, I’ll count them and see what I can get for that amount.
Now, before I share with you my rewards system (I have a color-coded version pinned to my corkboard), there’s something I’d like to mention: in real life, I’m using my country’s currency, but for the sake of this post and you not constantly thinking “Did one lev have one hundred stotinki in it or was it the other way around?”, I’ll be using dollars and cents.
When I post on Time:
- Blog Post = $0,10
- Patreon Post = $0,15
- Wattpad Chapter* = $0,20
Posting 1-4 Days Later than Originally Sceduled:
- Blog Post = $0,05
- Patreon Post = $0,07
- Wattpad Chapter = $0,10
Posting More than 1-4 Days Late:
- Blog Post = $0
- Patreon Post = $0
- Wattpad Chapter = $0
Watch Educational Videos/Read an Educational Article + Take Notes:
Improving your craft, keeping an eye on the publishing industry, learning new marketing techniques – all those are important for an author so I suggest you read up on them and join online seminars.
- 0-29 min.* of video = $0
- 30-90 min.* of video = $0,15
- 91 and more minutes* of video = $0,25
*The time counts only if the video is playing; if I pause it to take down notes, I also pause the timer and start it again after I’m done with my notes.
- 0-750 words = $0
- 751-1 500 words = $0,15
- 1 501 words and more = $0,20
Productive Day Reward
If I had a very productive day, even if my productivity wasn’t all writing-related, I’d reward myself with anything from 10 to 30 cents, depending on how much work I’ve done.
My chapters are usually around 1 800 words (not counting the A/N) and it’s a number I can reach in one day. However, I don’t write a chapter every day; sometimes I write a 300-word Tuesday Tiny Writing Tip. In order to be motivated to up my word count, I came up with two target word counts to look forward to reaching so I can get more cash:
- 2 000 – 2 499 words written in one day = $0,75
- 5K word and more (again, written in one day) = $1
And since I’m sick of being sick so often and I want to get healthier:
- Eat healthy = $0,15 – collected only after a whole day of healthy (or healthier than usual, which is what I’m starting with) eating
- Exercise for at least 20 min. = $0,15
What about penalties?
I’m not doing this, but if you want to, you could add penalties.
Let’s say that your goal is to write more than your usual 1K a day.
Your Rewards/Penalties system might look like this:
- 2K words or more = $1,5
- 1 500 – 1 999 words = $1
- 1 001 – 1 499 words = $0,5
- 1K words = $0
- 500 – 999 words = -$0,5 (you take fifty cents from the rewards already earned)
- 499 words or less = -$1 (you take a dollar from the rewards you’ve already earned)
If you are going to give yourself penalties, you should come up with some rules as to when the penalties apply and when they don’t.
For example, when you didn’t write because you weren’t in the mood, then you should get a penalty, but if you didn’t write because you were in bed with high fever, then I’d say skip the penalty.
Also, if you have your post ready on your computer and all you need to do is copy and paste it to your blog and hit that Publish button, but you discover that you can’t because your Wi-Fi isn’t working, then again, skip the penalty. Your Wi-Fi connection suddenly disappearing isn’t your fault and since it’s out of your hands, you don’t deserve a penalty.
You’ve probably noticed that most of my rewards are pretty tiny. There’s a reason for that: I reward myself with money and in order to spend my reward, I must first have it. If I were to reward myself with $10 for every small thing, I’d run out of savings to use as rewards pretty soon. What I mean by that is: don’t promise yourself a reward you can’t give yourself.
In order for you to stay motivated, the reward must be real.
Don’t promise yourself a hundred dollars, if you don’t have a hundred dollars.
Also, don’t promise yourself that you’d buy that really awesome t-shirt that you saw in the mall. By the time you earn the money for it, they might be out of stock. Instead, promise yourself that you’ll get a (any, not a certain one) cool t-shirt from a store you like, but don’t often shop in as it’s on the expensive side or buy yourself that t-shirt, but don’t wear it until you reach your goals.
What am I going to use the money from my rewards for?
Okay, not only books, but mostly. After all, the money should be spent on something that brings you joy so a portion of my rewards money will go for books. However, I want my rewards to also be a little bit practical so some of the books I’ll get are on how to improve your writing (although, technically, any book you read helps you improve your writing, even the bad ones).
The money that’s not going to be used for books, could also be spent on something practical I’ll enjoy having. For example, I can get a Harry Potter-themed t-shirt. I’m a fan of the books (especially the first three) so this is something I’ll enjoy wearing and since it’s clothing, it’s also practical, ’cause… Yeah, I can’t go around town naked. Well, I suppose I can, but it probably won’t end well for me…
Anyway, what I really, really want to get – although totally unpractical – are some of those adorable, geeky Funko POP figures that look like characters from popular movies/shows and come in different sizes. I’ll probably be getting the smallest possible size because one – it’s the cheapest and I can get more figures, and two – the smaller ones will be easier to find place for in my room.
So, after reading all this, are you going to join me in my productivity experiment and try out a rewards system of your own?
What will you reward yourself for?
Will you be having penalties?
What will you spend your reward money on?
Share in the comments!
That’s all for now, but I’ll give you an update on how my productivity project is going at the end of this month.
See you this Sunday, when I post my To Review in June List!