Welcome to week 2 of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! Today we will focus on reward systems. The goal for today is 1,667 words for the day with a total of 13,336 words. For Reverse NaNo folks, the goal is 2,527 words for the day with a total of 23,447 words.
Congratulations on making it to the quarter point! Eight days down, 22 days to go. Every word is a winner in this amazing goal of yours!
Now, week 2 may not be the best time to talk about rewards, but bear with me. This week tends to be my historic worst in my (yikes!) 14 years of NaNo participation due to the week 1 energy wearing off. I usually encounter at least one (if not several) issues that pop up with my story. I didn't do enough research. I didn't do enough planning. I don't like the story anymore. I don't like so and so character. In general, I encounter problems and my motivation tends to wane. Or I didn't make my word count goal for the day and I'm bummed.
Enter Rewards on Stage Right.
I have experimented the last couple of years with making a reward box for a friend who prepared a reward box for me. We exchange the reward boxes and then either take pictures and send to each other or we open the cards/presents on video chat or in person. I usually combine cards and small gifts for milestones (5k, 10k, 20k, 25k, 35k, 45k, and 50k). This year my friend and I are going to the dollar store and buying 30 gifts that are each $1 and then we will have something to open each day.
I like to start with candy and then move up to higher level rewards for the higher word counts, depending on the person's preferences. I am very happy with lemon drops, Reeses, some new markers or colored pencils. You get the idea.
Regardless if I have a reward exchange with a friend, I always buy myself a little something (usually a book I really want) and celebrate when NaNo is over with a nice meal at one of my favorite restaurants.
I have also noticed that I work harder when I get the reward first. Then I have to earn it. But this varies, and sometimes it is exciting to work for the reward and then get it. Feel free to experiment!
How are you motivated? What rewards have you earned so far? What rewards are you going to earn for reaching your goals?