Treat Yo Self

Sometimes the thrill of filling a blank page with words is not a thrill at all, but is instead an intolerable and lonely slog.

When the act of writing does not feel like a reward in and of itself, and publication feels distant and unattainable, you need to find creative ways to motivate yourself.

Every 100 words

lisa frank unicorn stickers

These stickers will do.

  • Food.  Not a good idea if you’re on a diet, but do people really diet?  Is that a thing?  Do these people not like food?  Snacks are best–you don’t want dinner to get cold.  Make it something that comes in bite-sized pieces or that you can cut up, and make sure it’s not messy.  Soup is bad for your keyboard’s health. Some writing-friendly foods:
    • M&Ms, Hershey Kisses, gummy bears, jelly beans
    • Carrots/celery sticks/cucumber/bell pepper slices
    • Popcorn, Pretzels, Nuts
    • Clementines, berries, grapes 
  • Stickers. Zero-calories, and often shiny.  Stick one on your forehead every 100 words.

Every 1000 words

I.e. only on good writing days.  You’ve worked hard so far; give yourself a break!

  • Nap
  • Watch a tv show (try not to get sucked in, and limit yourself to just one epsiode)
  • Tumblr/Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter…your social media platform of choice
  • Go for a walk
  • Make some tea or coffee

Every day that you write

tip jar

What a good little writer.

  • Start a tip jar, the pillar of every kind of goal-setting.  Make yourself a system: put a dollar in the jar every day that you write, or set 1 word written = 1 cent, or whatever is realistic and motivating for you.  When you reach $100, buy yourself something nice (see below for ideas).
  • Chart: Make a big, blank bar graph on a huge piece of paper.  I mean poster-sized.  Or draw a big empty thermometer. Color it in each day with the amount your wrote so you can see your progress. Bonus points because this one is FREE.

After X number of words/days writing

Buy yourself something you’ve wanted for a while! New shoes, a new video game, tickets to a movie…If you really want to enforce your writing habit, buy things that encourage you to write more:

  • New notebook
  • A nice pens
  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Writing software or apps
  • A new album you can listen to while you write

Off-topic note: I’m on Pinterest (obviously), and I’ve been working on boards for both writers & readers…I feel like there are huge numbers of book/writing bloggers on Tumblr and WordPress, but where are you all on Pinterest?!  Anyway, I’m compiling a bunch of inspirational images, advice, and how-tos.
cassandra's pinterest

What this means to you:

Are you on Pinterest?  Do you have a books or writing board?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, add a link to your Pinterest in the comments below so that I can follow you!

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4 thoughts on “Treat Yo Self

  1. hey, just found your website today and i really like it. i’m a designer, and all these tips totally apply to my day-to-day as well. keep up the good work!

  2. Pingback: Reading as a Writer | Don't be "a writer."

  3. I literally just discovered your blog today and I wish I had long ago. Your posts are great and this may just be the inspiration/kick in the pants that I need to get back into my writing.

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