Writing with Progress/Reward System

As I mentioned before I recently just came back from a 7 month writing break. That’s a long time to go without writing. And while there’s a lot of reasons I think I’m finally back at it again, I also wanted to share the new things I’m doing with this sequel.

So first a huge shoutout to V.E. Schwab for sharing her star calendar system. She’s my inspiration behind this idea.

I went out to Staples and bought a calendar to hang on my wall. I also bought a pack of stars stickers. Now the whole purpose of this system is to track your progress. Different colored stars represent different things. You make up the rules. But basically I love it because it allows you to see how you’re progressing and where you can go from there. It’s also hilariously enough really pleasing to be able to put a sticker (or several) down for that day, knowing you reached a goal.

I set up my stars to be realistic to my goals. I also kept in mind how I typically write. Usually for me a good day is 1k or a little more. So with that in mind, here’s my current star ratings:

Blue star – 1k

Red star – over 1k

Green star – 5k

Silver star – hit a double digit total word count (ex: 10k, 20k, 30k)

Gold star – completed a book

Next, I’ve also been really good with keeping everything I need (while writing) in front of me. Pens, notebooks, sharpies, etc are all with me. Currently I don’t have a desk, so I do my writing in my bed, but fortunately my pen holder doesn’t fall over, so all is well!

I’ve also been using Pinterest a lot more. Because I realized it’s better for me to work with a lot of pictures and songs in the background for inspiration than nothing at all. I finally created a board for Clara and Ezra, and I’ve been filling it up slowly with inspiration and other ideas.

Overall? So far so good. I think this system is really solid and definitely one I want to continue using. I feel like I’m finally keeping track of my writing progress in a variety of ways (calendar, journal, Wordly app, social media posting, etc.), and it really helps me visualize where I am and where I’m going.

12k into a novel isn’t anything in terms of being close to the end, but I am making way more progress than I expected I was capable of. I feel like everything is coming together, and I believe this new system I’m using and the new organization I have with my writing is all playing a huge role in that.

So here’s to hoping it stays that way!

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