POINT OF VIEW: Chocolate or Bust

Chocolate

Hey all…

This week is all about writing motivation. 🙂

I have, give or take, about two and a half months to finish my next novel, at least to the first draft stage. It’s do-able, though it’s a month less than I thought I had originally – long story there. But what it means is that I have to sit my butt down in the chair every single day to write, and for a good, solid chunk of time.

I am a master procrastinator. As a writer, that probably goes without saying LOL. I can put something off for days and weeks at a time, through a variety of creative methods. Among my many excuses and diversions (and a peek at how my brain works when it’s time to write):

  • I just don’t feel like it
  • I haven’t figured out the next scene
  • I have laundry to do
  • When was the last time I clipped my toenails?
  • I’m hungry. Think I will go get something to eat
  • Is the mail here yet?
  • Oooh, look something cool on Facebook
  • I really, really need to re-alphabetize the spice drawer
  • I do have a “real” job, you know
  • Did I turn off the teakettle this morning?
  • Maybe it’s time to clip my toenails again.

Procrastination is really an art, when you think about it. As writers, we have the gift of putting off the one thing we love and hate most – actually writing.

Plus there’s the whole “my desk is so boring – I work here all day long” thing – do I really wanna write in the same place I do my emails, accounting, and business calls?

So I have devised a new strategy. It’s nothing earth-shattering or even particularly novel.

(chuckles – see what I did there? “Novel!” I kill myself!)

I alter my environment. When it’s time to write, I turn off the overhead light, open the blinds to let in a little natural sunlight, and put in my headphones with the music cranked up high. I might even grab a blanket now and then to wrap around myself for that snuggly feeling. I want to change my space so it doesn’t feel like I’m working.

But the key ingredient here, the thing than makes it all come together, is chocolate.

I have a Trader Joe’s bar I particularly like, and it has two bars inside with four rows or chocolate each. These rows breaks into four squares. I break these in half, and with one row, I get eight little pieces of chocolate. Finish a page, get a piece of chocolate.

So far, I haven’t managed eight pages in one hour and a half sitting, but it’s a goal I aspire to. Nevertheless, my chocolate reward has encouraged me to stay put and write.

One other thing I do, on those days when I feel sluggish, is to get up and do fifty jumping jacks. It helps put a little oxygen in my bloodstream and wake up my brain. Then it’s back to chocolate and writing.

Anyone can do this. And it doesn’t have to be chocolate. If you absolutely fricking love carrots, make it carrots. If you are cookoo for Cocoa Puffs, make it Cocoa Puffs. Maybe peppermint candy is your think. Whatever feels like a reward to you and will keep you at the keyboard.

That’s how I do it. How do you reward yourself to keep writing?