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NewlyNested: Paying Myself to Write

Writing from home as an unpublished author can be a very lonely, but rewarding experience.  For the last year I have been “almost done” with my first novel and each month I keep telling myself it will be ready to be sent out next month.  I’ve come to realize that my biggest problem is finding self-worth in my own work and sticking with good habits.

I have two dogs that I have trained really well and quickly, because like many animals my dogs are food-motivated.  I learned that I am a money-motivated person. I’ve decided to start paying myself to do things.  Much like a swear jar, I have a money jar sitting on my kitchen counter that I plan to spend on shopping.  Every time I sit down and write I put another dollar in the jar.  Another habit I’ve adopted is one Ernessa posted a few weeks ago.  I made a commitment to myself to write 20 minutes a day with the plan of doubling it every month until I hit a 2 hour minimum.  Both habits have become successful and I feel like my novel is really about done and I have already begun to outline my second book.

I also learned that I need money to motivate myself to do other things.  Cleaning has been something that has been on my mind for a long time (my house has been a mess since the day I got married).  I don’t like cleaning and I just haven’t been able to convince myself to hire someone since I work from home.  I don’t have an excuse to not be able to tidy up the house yet.  My one friend told me she just pours herself a really big glass of wine as her cleaning treat.  While I love that idea, I just don’t think that’s the treat for me.  Now every time I clean a part of the house (I’m building up to doing the whole house at once) I add another dollar to my jar.  Now that I see a cash reward piling up I’ve become more motivated to do the chore more often.

Because I like getting my dollar bills so much I’ve given myself another task that is pay worthy.  My husband’s family speaks Russian and I often end up being left out of the conversation since I don’t speak their language.  My husband has nagged me to take language lessons over the last year, but I hated taking French in high school, so learning Russian was not something I wanted to spend my free time on.  Recently he gave me the Rosetta Stone Russian program and now I have consistently taken lessons by paying myself for each session.

So far rewarding myself with money has given me a sense of worth (especially since there is now a dollar value for what I do) but I’ve also gotten into a concrete schedule.  It feels great to get things accomplished and to know that I have a nice shopping trip waiting for me in my near future.  Do you have any great self-motivation ideas?