I’d never used word-count goals in writing, until my current manuscript. To complete my story by my deadline, I need to write a certain number of words per week.
For the past month, what has helped me make my goal each week is a reward. I heed two rules concerning rewards.
1. I don’t get the reward if I don’t make the word count goal by the day I set. No errant thoughts like: “I can catch up next week, so I can have my reward.” Or, “I’m only a few hundred words short. I deserve my reward when I’m so close to my word count goal.”
2. Rewards have to be something I really enjoy.
We recently bought a cabin on a lake an hour and a half away from our home. We are fixing up the cabin retreat and clearing the woods down to the lake to open a view of the lake. I have fun with my husband shopping, painting, putting up new fixtures, and clearing trees.
The cabin has already become a getaway from deadlines, marketing, and other platform work. I want nothing more at the end of a week than to go to the cabin. So, I’ve designated trips to the cabin to be my reward for meeting my word count.
- For a month, the progress on my book has pleased me. And I’ve enjoyed my two days with my husband working on our cabin. Someday, we’ll be able to offer retreats to family and groups of a dozen writers or friends.
- I’ve noticed that I don’t allow frivolous tasks to waste my time as much as I used to.
Sometimes, I view such things as doctor and hair appointments, service meetings, new marketing events, and unexpected work tasks as threats to spending Friday and Saturdays at the cabin. My desire for my reward must not usurp a healthy balance of activities during my week.
- I must be careful not to sacrifice my aspiration for excellence because I want my reward.
- My reward may not always be my husband’s choice. Maybe some weeks I need a second worthy reward. Perhaps taking a day off to do something he wants to do.
A worthy reward may be the best plan to meet weekly word counts and a book’s deadline. Click to tweet.
What reward would keep you on task to meet a book deadline?
Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.
Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.
What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?