If it’s Wednesday, we must be back on the road again with those crazy authors from YA HIGHWAY.  And today we’re all writing about one of my most favorite topics…rewards.

Specifically, how do you reward yourself for meeting your writing goals? What are the big milestones? And how will you celebrate?

I admit it, I need the carrot out ahead of me, I really do.  Even though I love writing, there are times when I am just. not. motivated.  Lots of times like that, actually.  So, I bribe myself.  Yes, I’m not too proud to admit it, I take bribes.

Here’s how it works:

Say I’m dying to curl up on the couch while the kids are in school and read The Penderwicks or Delirium. But say I promised myself I would keep slogging through the La Brea tar pits of revisions because if I don’t revise I can never query and if I never query I can never possibly have an agent and if I don’t have an agent it will be significantly harder for me to ever sell a book. So. I set a timer – an actual kitchen timer, I shut down my email and internet, I block everything from my desktop, and I write for one hour.  One hour without interruption, even if it’s crappy and I’m sure in my heart that I’ll wind up cutting each word.

After an hour, when the timer goes off, I can grab whatever book I want and read for 30 minutes (usually while snacking on something). After 30 minutes, I repeat the whole cycle.

And when I hit a bigger milestone, like a full draft?

Something like a pedicure is in order!  Nothing too pricy or indulgent…after all there’s a lot more work to be done. But a little splurge that feels like a treat helps me keep going.

And as for what will happen when the big milestones come? An agent, a sale, who knows? Well, let’s just say it will look something like this:

And then I’ll likely reward myself with something like this:

What about you? How do you (or will you) reward yourself?