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?
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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!