“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”~Albert Einstein, German physicist
The only reason I completed NaNoWriMo this year was with the incentive of buying myself The Big Reward.
Material goods are great motivators, and if self-bribery helps you write, go for it! It was mid-November, and I was watching Instagram-inspired YouTube videos rather than writing my NaNoWriMo novel. You see, I’d stumbled upon photos of this sub-culture in the crafting community who were scrapbooking in monthly day planners. Yes, that old school paper date planner that 10 years ago you could only buy in office supply stores.
I used paper planners ever since college when I needed a paper datebook to keep track of my exams and projects and parties. Flash forward to 2010, the time when I was using my smartphone’s calendar to record my dentist braces appointments as well as in my datebook paper. The duplication was annoying and time consuming. My husband wondered why I was doing this because, outside of his work, he’d made the seamless switch to smartphone calendar. It took me months of me guiltily leaving my paper datebook in my bag before I was comfortable scheduling appointments on my phone. Soon the paper was obsolete, a perfect analogy to print books and paper in general.
Back to the Big Reward. I saw some planners in person when I bought my annual 8″x 8″ scrapbook calendar Christmas gift for my husband. A woman browsing the same aisle was looking at planner tools and inserts. We talked about the madness and the desire, just as any scrapbooker has with paper and stickers. I left the store with the thought, I have to get one.
While I continued procrastinating Nano anyway I could, I stumbled across a YouTube channel of someone using her planner to plan her social media life: blog posts, YouTube videos, Twitter schedule and more. Here was justification: I could make a practical use of a planner.
There were other synergistic activities occurring in my life–thoughts I’ll share in future posts–that made a planner play-full and now practical.
But this obsession meant more procrastination which I could not word-ly afford. So I bartered with myself: I can buy myself one only if I successfully complete NaNoWriMo. I learned that I can write 5000+ words a day, and that was how I succeeded writing 50,721 words in 16 days.
It was eye-opening and inspiring to see that I could do that. I had the time if I made the time. It encouraged me, especially since I fished a 25,000-ish word story out of my misplelled NaNoNonsense: Jimmy the Burglar: Thief of Socks. The subject and storyline was inspired by my original Story Cubes set as well as conversations I’ve had on Instagram. I am working towards publishing this by the end of the year. Now, thanks to my Happy Planner, I have a plan. I’ve blocked off specific days and times to write or complete specific tasks. Having them written down helps me see what I need to do and what I have completed. I also put some social activities in there; it’s never too late to have a party. It’s satisfying and more encouraging to see check marks in my to-do boxes.
If you’re planning a writing goal for 2016, be sure to plan your own Big Reward for success. I’m excited to see how this helps move me forward.