Reward Yourself for Writing Well Done – Without Food

Ever want to treat yo self for making writing goals but not sure what you can use besides food? Read on!

Guys, I have to admit: I forgot to write my post this week.

I know, I know. I haven’t done that in ages! But turns out this week was a perfect storm of long day job days and a feeling like I could take a break. So my brain shut off entirely.

Why did I feel like I could take a break? I just sent my WIP (work in progress) off to betas this weekend. I’d been plugging away at revision 3 for months, behind copyediting (which led me to close copyediting services, because I just can’t get enough writing time lately), family trips, and personal obligations like my job. And when I finally hit “The End” of the manuscript and sent it off to my readers, I could finally take a deep breath.

Which leads me to today’s topic: reward yourself.

Now, plenty of people will tell you to reward yourself each accomplishment in your writing life: drafts complete, books published, even word count goal met for a day.

And I’m right behind those people.

But I want to talk about healthy rewards today. More specifically, non-food rewards.

Because a lot of those “reward yourself” people will tell you to indulge over and over again in unhealthy habits, like cake or candy. But you can’t use food rewards for yourself all the time. Especially if you’re like me and snack enough as it is. Or if you’re looking to reward yourself every day.

So what are some alternative rewards?

  1. A day(s) off. Yup, one of my biggest rewards for myself is letting myself take a guilt-free break from plugging away at manuscripts and marketing and researching. It’s heaven for my brain.
  2. A good book. For you, that could mean letting yourself buy a new book, but for me, it just means I give myself time to sit and read, again, guilt-free. No “I should be writing” in the background. I know it can be hard to turn off those voices, but seriously, sometimes you just gotta tell them “reading is part of my job.” Because it is. As a writer, you should be reading in your genre. And this works great as a daily reward, too. Writing goal met = reading time!
  3. Time out with family or friends. Let yourself go out to a restaurant, the movies, a bar, whatever. Or invite some people over. Or have a nice night in with your significant other. Let yourself focus on them.
  4. Spending time on something you love. This may be something artistic or some kind of activity, but let yourself have some extra time for that fun thing you’re always putting off because you “should be writing.”
  5. Work on something you normally can’t. Take a break from your current work (if you’re between drafts, it’s time to let it sit anyway) and write something just for the love of writing. There are tons of prompts out there, or you could do writing of a different sort, like poetry, or you could start something new (as long as you still finish your on-break project). I find it so refreshing to draft something new.

These are some of my favorite non-food writing rewards, but I’m sure there are tons more! I’m always looking for new ways to treat myself for writing well done, so feel free to take a moment and leave a comment with your favorite writing rewards below! And if that’s food, feel free to add that, too. 🙂

Keep writing, and don’t forget to reward yourself!

Friends in Creative Places

A while back you may recall my post titled “The Demons of Discouragement.” Well, after reviewing that post recently, I realized that the discouragement I was feeling has been somewhat alleviated. So I started thinking about why that might be, and I have come to a conclusion: I found the right creative friend. This isn’t to say my other support hasn’t been phenomenal, and I love my friends and family for their support every day. But it’s quite different to have a creative friend doing the same work as you.

Back toward the end of summer I had joined a local writing group that met in the Barnes & Noble closest to where I lived (I still attend every meeting!). About the same time I started going, another woman near my age also began attending. Like me, she had written a book. Like me, it was fantasy. Like me, she was ready to query. Unlike me, she was vocal about it.

So we gravitated together at and around these meetings, talking shop and gushing over our books. She began pushing me to do things I would have avoided out of my introverted, shy nature or because of the cost. With her, I attended a writing workshop in Philly in April. I went to a Sarah J. Maas book signing and discovered that she lives pretty close to me. I traded critiques and reviews of synopses and query letters and drafts.

And you know what? The query process is going so much better. I got a request for my full manuscript at the workshop. I have six queries out in the world, shining in their new and improved status. I feel more confident in what I’m doing, not like I’m just flailing in the dark and hoping to hit something.

But you know what’s even better than all that?

I’m in love with my writing again. Because of her, I’ve had professionals tell me I was talented and skilled (a huge boost for the discouraged writer!). I’ve had a passionate friend who loves fantastic worlds as much as I do. I’ve had opportunities to meet people and grow not only as a writer but also as a person.

And because of her, I’m back.

So what about you? What have you experienced or done that has fueled your creation and your passions? I’d love to hear about it!