Reward Writing

Want to know how to make writing feel like a video game?

When you are playing a video game, they place little goals everywhere. “You know those clothes you accidentally sold? Kill 30 chickens and you get to wear pants!” Or “get to this main plot point, and you MAY get to romance a character.”

They do this because, even if you are only 5% into the game, these goals make you feel like you are accomplishing something. These small rewards drive you onwards despite the fact your only a tiny bit in.

So how does this tie into writing? With reward writing.

I have heard of many writers working in timed increments, so, for example, twenty minutes of writing to give you ten of a video game. Yeah, that does not work for me. At all. I don’t have the self-control to stop a game mid-way through just because a timer goes off.

So if you are like me, how can you try reward writing?

The first step is come up with a list of rewards. Make sure they are things you really want. Once you have those, you need to chart out stages in your word-count. For example, “if I reach 5000 words, I get a new mug” or “if I reach 10000 words, I get a movie ticket.”

Another way to do it is to mix punishment. Didn’t meet your goal? You have to make something healthy. Did meet it? Yay! You get to order in food! Didn’t meet your goal? Boo, you get water. Did meet your goal? Yay, coke float for you!!! And so on and so on.

There are two important tips though, the first is that you have the importance of the rewards increase with the word count. That way, when you get to the middle -which is where most writers give up- you have extra motivation.

The next is to make the word-count goals reasonable. If you make them too out there and you miss the goal several times, you may lose your motivation to write at all.

Interested in knowing my writing rewards? Here it is! My goal is approximately 1000 a day, so 7000 a week. My rewards are set weekly, ending with a word count of 56000.

  • 7000 – Buy a book
  • 14000 – Buy Two Comic Books
  • 21000 – Gym Membership
  • 28000-Still picking…
  • 35000-Still picking…
  • 42000-Still picking…
  • 49000-Still picking…
  • 56000- Buy a Kayak
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