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Ah, pride, how often it goes before a fall...sigh. Today I decided to take MrD into town and make it really feel like a treat for both of us. For me, part of that meant dressing up a little. See, I spend a lot of days wearing PJs until late in the day, which means I usually feel pretty scruffy. Today, though, I not only dressed in non-scruffy clothes, I put on the string of pearls I inherited from a much-loved relative, and I put on lipstick. I felt really, really attractive and classy.

I kept on feeling classy as I went into the library and stood for five minutes chatting with a librarian at the front counter while various other adults passed and said hello. I felt really, really classy all the way to the children's section where MrD was waiting with a pile of books...

...at which point I finally, finally looked down and realized that at some point before leaving my house, I must have spilled great big dollops of something white and mucky (mayonnaise, maybe, from lunch??? who knows?) all over the front of my shirt.

Aaaaaahhhhh...yes.

So classy.

Sigh.

Luckily, I had baby wipes on hand. I wiped off the stains, leaving only dark wet patches behind. Still not entirely classy, maybe, but better than weird white muck.

And hey. At least I won't get above myself about my appearance anytime soon...

Oh well. It was a really good trip to town anyway. MrD and I read book after book together, and I picked up a whole bunch of books for myself that I've been wanting to read for ages, like Tom Angleberger's The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Jill Shalvis's adult romance duology Christmas in Lucky Harbor. After the library, we went to Caffé Nero and shared a piece of white-and-dark-chocolate cheesecake that was SO delicious, MrD and I were both in bliss.

I also stocked up on something really important: chocolate for the weeks and months ahead.

See, I got really, really good news this weekend: I won the double-batch of freelance writing projects I'd auditioned for back in January! This is FABULOUS news. However, the beginning of this week was a little rocky as I went into full-on pressure mode, based partially on the external (and tight) deadlines for the freelance work, but just as much on the equally tight deadlines I've created for myself for my own WIP.

This is it, I told myself. From now through September, I have to WORK. Work, work, work! Things Are Serious Now! I need a certain wordcount every day, and there will be no excuses tolerated EVER! I was very stern with myself in this lecture. Really quite scary.

And so yesterday I had a mini-meltdown. Because guess what? My creativity really hates being lectured. Just like a little kid being told that THERE WILL BE NO MORE TREATS EVER, it went into a screaming fit and refused to do ANYTHING.

On the other hand...well, it hates being lectured, but it has no problem with bribes. So, on the very wise advice of a good writer-friend, I went into town today determined to stock up on bribes. I got two bars of Divine dark chocolate with fruit and nuts and one bar of Divine mint dark chocolate. If used judiciously, they should last me through both stages of the first freelance project and give me a little hit of chocolate every day. And I'm thinking that a set of Hunger Games movie tickets might just be in order sometime, too, for a week when I not only meet but exceed my wordcount goals...

No, it does not make me feel terribly mature to admit that this is how I work. But guess what? This morning I had a genuinely fabulous writing session on the freelance project, writing 2100 words that made me happy - because I knew that I'd be going into town this afternoon. Other days, I'll have the chocolate at hand for motivation.

Sometimes, bribes are exactly what I need. And if that means eating a few bars of really delicious dark chocolate every working day...well, hey. I'm happy to be a martyr to the deadline cause. ;p

What about you guys? What would/do you use as a small, affordable bribe for yourself?

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
wldhrsjen3
Mar. 27th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
*sheepish grin* I have TOTALLY done that ~ walked out of the house feeling classy and dressed up and grown-up, only to glance in a mirror some time later to discover a) my hair sticking out at weird angles because I forgot to clip the barrette, b) I buttoned my blouse crookedly, or c) I'm walking around with dog drool, horse drool, or little kid muck on me. :P Oh, well! :D

And rewards ~ heh. I've started using stickers on my calendar to mark the days I've met my goals, and thanks to some little gifties from my mom and my sister I've got a basket of rewards on the corner of my desk. Little things, like candy, new pens, a gift card to the book store, new perfume, etc. and I'm making myself save them until I reach certain points in the wip. It's good motivation because I can sit there and stare at the goodies, but I can't enjoy them until I've earned them. :) Maybe it isn't all that mature, but everyone needs a little fun inspiration! :)
stephanieburgis
Mar. 27th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
I love your reward system! That is so smart and fun. And THANK YOU for the empathy on my bad clothing discovery! It helps so much to be reminded that I'm not the only one who does this stuff.
bookblather
Mar. 27th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
I tend to bribe myself with pieces of what I'm reading or watching at the moment: 1000 words buys me a chapter, 5000 buys me a TV episode, etc. Also, new coats of nail polish. I am like a magpie when it comes to sparkly nail polish, and redoing my nails with something sparkly is always a pleasure.
stephanieburgis
Mar. 27th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is a really good system. And sparkly nail polish sounds like a fabulous reward to me!
gwynnega
Mar. 27th, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
Bribes are excellent. I like to bribe myself with a good cup of coffee or tea to drink while I'm writing. I also trick myself sometimes: "just write for ten minutes!" Because once I start, then I don't stop after ten minutes...
stephanieburgis
Mar. 29th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
That is so true. It's all about getting started in the first place!
thirdscreen
Mar. 29th, 2012 01:19 pm (UTC)
Your reward system sounds entirely mature to me! Manageable, sustainable, productive, self-aware...and let me tell you, there is NOTHING immature about knowing how you work and getting things done. Don't we spend years helping children figure out how to manage themselves?
stephanieburgis
Mar. 29th, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
I really like that way of thinking about it. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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