Is it March yet? Has the snow stopped falling? (No, unfortunately.) But there’s a way to combat all the dreariness of that week of work, or another week of college, in our case. It’s called the shiny, glittering reward. Ah, yes. Writing is a tough craft. We find that we’re constantly drowning in our own work (whether homework or a new WIP) and we rarely set aside time to reward ourselves. Sometimes we sit down to write and we accomplish fifteen words. Okay, at least it was something. But what about two thousand words? A few new blog post drafts? Maybe finishing our French homework?
All of these might seem small or futile, but they’re all Mini Accomplishments to us. Anytime you set aside time to complete something, you should reward yourself, too. It’s been a tough lesson for us. Writing can be stressful—but more than anything, it should also feel like a reward in itself.
So go ahead! Indulge in that episode of Arrow, or pick up that book that’s been sitting on your shelf for a few weeks. And better yet, set rewards for yourself! We find this especially useful for deadlines or NaNoWriMo. If you set a goal and reach it (this is crucial for writing sprints), rewards are always a fun way to replenish and feel invigorated for another bout of writing.
Rewards are key to both the writing and editing process. I like to greet the Editing Monster—the thing that likes to suck out all hope from your WIP—with rewards in mind. It makes diving into a fresh rewrite so much more exciting. It’s not always easy to fit rewards into our hectic everyday lives, but they’re just as crucial as your morning breakfast. And remember—rewards don’t have to be huge. It doesn’t mean you have to put on pants to go to the movies (because PJs are soooo much better). It can be as simple as eating a Toblerone…mmm…where was I? Oh, right—rewards. They work differently for everyone, but they all accomplish something important for all writers: refueling.
So go tackle that new WIP, or the Editing Monster, and keep your rewards in mind. Your writing will thank you for it.
Sarena and Sasha Nanua are teenage twins living in Ontario. They love reading science fiction and fantasy novels. They have been writing books since they were nine years old. The Gemstone is their first novel.