Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reward? Bribes? Motivation?

Not that long ago, I was a staunch idealist when it came to work and rewards. I believed that work worth doing, is worth doing on its own. I practice piano, exercise, treat people kindly because each of these is a worthwhile goal in itself.
Putting a carrot at the end somehow cheapens both the task and the person.

Predictably, piano students, including one highly successful psychology professor, would complain that I didn't offer tangible rewards for their practicing. Why couldn't I do like other piano teachers and gave gold stars and stickers?

I've mellowed in the last few years. It's an non-ideal world. It's okay to offer rewards at times, even to ourselves.

And boy, am I glad I've made that profession of slackened belief in the rewards system, because I'm salivating over a new bribe, I mean reward system, for myself.

I've had such a great time learning about children's poetry lately from my participation in the Poetry Friday Roundup, I have complied a list of all the poetry collections written or recommended by my Poetry Friday friends that I want to purchase.

So this is what I'll do: for every big task--say finish revising my first novel, or writing X number of scenes for my WIP--I will buy one of these books. Kinda like people who want to establish a workout schedule promising themselves spa treatments and cute running tops if they do a certain amount of exercise (hmmmm, that doesn't sound like such a bad idea...)

Help out the publishing industry, revive the economy, support my Poetry Friday friends, AND get some writing done: not bad, eh?


Nandini said...

Good plan! Do you have a wordcount in mind per book?

I can't afford carrots so it's the stick for me. As in deadline.

Yat-Yee said...

Yeah, sticks help too. :)

I prefer bigger units, such as scenes rather than word count. Just seems to work better for me.