15 Ways to Reward Yourself For Writing

by Jennifer Blanchard

lots and lots of rewards

Let’s face it–When you know you’re getting a reward for doing something, it can definitely motivate you to do it. That’s why rewarding yourself for writing really works.

When you know all you have to do is write 500 words before you can collect your reward (whatever it might be), that will motivate you to write. It’s as simple as that.

Rewarding Yourself for Writing

People love getting a reward for doing something. That’s why cereal companies put toys inside the box; it’s a reward for purchasing their cereal. And it’s also an incentive to purchase it over another brand.

Same goes with writing. If you know writing 500 words comes with a reward, but watching TV for an hour doesn’t, which activity are you more likely to choose?

Here’s how to use the productivity rewards process to get yourself writing:

  1. Choose a writing activity–It can be anything from write 1 page to write 1,000 words to complete chapter six in your novel. Whatever activity you want or need to complete.
  2. Choose a reward–Pick a reward that you’ll give yourself once you’ve completed the activity. Rewards can be anything you can dream up (see below for a list of ideas).
  3. Sit down and complete the writing activity–So write your 1,000 words or complete chapter six in your novel.
  4. Collect your reward–When the activity is complete, take a break and collect your reward.
  5. Repeat as often as you want–This system can be used over and over again.

Rewards, Rewards Everywhere

Anything can be a reward. It just has to be something you love that would motivate you. If you choose something that you don’t care very much about, the productivity reward process won’t work for you.

So choose a reward that you love. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • 30 minutes of TV time
  • 30 minutes of reading time
  • Rent a movie you’ve wanted to see
  • Listen to your favorite music for an hour
  • Grab a latte from Starbucks
  • Go for a run
  • Play with your dog
  • Take your dog for a walk
  • Order take out instead of cooking dinner
  • Buy yourself a new notebook
  • Spend 30 minutes on Facebook or surfing the Internet
  • Chat on Skype with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile
  • Spend 30 minutes being creative
  • Play video games for 30 minutes
  • Get tickets for a sporting event

There are literally a million different ways you can reward yourself.

One more thing to keep in mind: the rewards process works the opposite way as well. So if you skip your writing session, you lose/skip your reward.

What do you reward yourself with when you get writing done?

Today’s Challenge: Come up with a list of things that make you feel rewarded. When your next writing session is over, reward yourself with something on your list.

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is the founder of Procrastinating Writers, a blog that offers guidance for writers who struggle to get started. She is co-founder of the Better Writing Habits project.

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