Sunday, June 10, 2018

I #amwriting (live!) for INCENTIVES. How about you? by Rolynn Anderson

We’ve been talking about deadlines (set by self and others), lately, which don’t work nearly as well for me as incentives of the external kind.  Here are some examples:

San Luis Obispo county (and other state/county entities in California), entice residents to reduce the sizes of their lawns by offering a dollar for each square foot of grass we remove (replaced by a drip system watering drought resistant plants...that's the bargain).  When my DH and I realized we'd be recompensed about $6,000 for ripping out our thirsty, unhealthy, not-so-green carpet, we signed up.


The cash for grass program initially prompted our front yard makeover, but we're so pleased with the result, we've quickly taken on the back yard. See the amazing power of incentives? My husband and I have moved into  design and demolition with much more confidence and speed than we mustered in the front-scape design.  (You can see we're keeping a small patch of grass. Can't help it!)

 P. S. I promised you a picture of my giant bird of paradise, taking 10 years to bloom, so here it is, but you have to look look hard at this pic to see the majesty.  The black, narrow triangles in the middle of the plant make up the flower...in the closeup, you will see the four white blossoms poking upward (I had to hold a branch aside to give you a full view).


What entices an author to write more, and write better? Many of us are galvanized by great reviews, a growing cadre of fans, and the encouragement of colleagues, relatives and friends. Another bonus: getting the nod in a contest.  As you know, Bad Lies is a Rone finalist. Watch me work on my 9th and 10th novels with new verve now that Bad Lies has earned a pretty badge!



Money,  food (chocolate!), badges/certificates, avid fans, encouraging colleagues.  A vacation, a new outfit, an electronic thingy, a car.  Incentives always help to push me to the next level. I build on good results...energized by each success to improve the next project. 

What's been your go-to motivator lately? How about coming up with one right now?


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16 comments:

Jannine Gallant said...

I've been motivated to finish my WIP by the time the 2nd book in my current series releases. My goal is to turn it in to my publisher (the complete book instead of just chapters to show how motivated I am) a few days before my BookBub ad starts on release day, June 26th. My hope is those extra sales generated by the ad will induce them to give me a new series contract. The contract will be my reward. I look at this as "Timing is everything!" I'm on track, so we'll see if my plan pays off. Looking forward to seeing the completed backyard!

Margo Hoornstra said...

My motivator these days is simply the enjoyment of writing. Yes, the wip I’m on now is under contract, so I HAVE to finish it by the end of the year. I guess you could say that’s motivation number two. For me, progress is its own reward. Overall, I’m motivated to promote my four book, Brothers In Blue series when all four are finished, while I work on whatever comes to me next. Congrats on the pretty badge. And the front yard looks great. Best of luck on completing the back.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Jannine, a contract is definitely an incentive...and a new series? Wow! I get that you're enticing them...smart move!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Margo, like Jannine, writing a series makes for a good motivator. I'm glad the simple joy of writing pleases you (even under the push of a contracted deadline). 'They' always tell us we need to look at writing like a business, but the fun of writing has to be there for me, too. Some days the allure has the feel of magic!

Brenda Whiteside said...

I am just itching to start the next series. Why? Motivation? I miss writing, but I feel a drive to get more written. It's a numbers game with me. I'd like to publish more than one book a year. I have some years and for some reason it brings me happiness. Who knows why? Problem is, I'm steeped in promo for the book releasing on the 18th and I've had numerous family trips. We have a two week trip starting the day after release. Yes, I'm having fun, but man am I itching!

RE Mullins said...

Hmm. I hadn't thought of treating myself to something if I reach my self-imposed deadline...

Diane Burton said...

Wow! That is quite an incentive to get rid of grass. I would do that, even if I love grass. As for an incentive to complete a book: I haven't thought about that much. I guess it's the feeling of accomplishment. "I did it!" The process of taking ideas out of my head and putting them on the screen (and paper) is such a thrill. A dream come true.

Andrea Downing said...

Rolynn, first of all, hearty congrats on the RONE finalist place. I still remember sitting next to you at the first ceremony; sorry I won't be there this year.
I find I don't really need an incentive to write; it's my 'blood' to do so so I keep at it when I can, which admittedly at the moment is not often.
As for your lovely garden--and this is in no way a criticism of you--but I felt rather upset at learning that the local government has to pay so much of an incentive to get residents to do the right thing. With such a water shortage as CA often suffers from, well . . . I wonder how many residents took up the offer as well? (but no, I don't expect anyone to reject the offer now that it's there and just say they'll do it out of the goodness of their heart!)

Alison Henderson said...

LOVE your giant Bird of Paradise! My incentive to finish Undercover Nanny was just to have the danged thing finished after nearly a year and a half. And it does feel good, let me tell you!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Brenda, that's a good itch, you're talking about, the drive to write. What I call a good obsession. But you put family first which, in the long run, will please you more. I see another summer that way for me...juggling family, friends, and writing. I always say: Keeps us out of the bars :-)

Rolynn Anderson said...

R.E. you definitely deserve a present of your choice. Tell us what you decide upon...we might like one of those, too!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Ah, Diane. Another writer with the itch to complete a book. I understand completely! Part of the incentive is to solve the crime and/or help the characters get to their HEA. Big burden, lifted; definitely part of the reward!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Andi, in an ideal world people would have enough money of their own to remove lawn, rip out thirsty plants and redesign the irrigation system to be exclusively drip. But I'm here to tell you this is one expensive endeavor for lawns our size and the rules are super strict about which plants are allowed, etc. My neighbor with lawn front and back, spent $150,000 on his renovation, using a company's services. By using a small-time landscaper/maintenance guy, we're trying to cut that cost to $50,000. It's shocking how much the dump fees are for all the lawn we removed...we'll end up with 4 giant bins full. Our state also pays incentives for people to buy energy efficient water heaters, toilets and washing machines, but it also began punishing people who used more water than they were allowed. Bottom line, the new rules and steep prices for water don't keep 'old' grass green anymore.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Alison, thanks for oohing about the giant bird of paradise. I'm feeling very motherly and proud about her! And congrats on completing your undercover nanny suspense story...it's on my TBR pile in my Kindle...looking forward to getting to it soon!

Leah St. James said...

Love the Bird of Paradise plant, Rolynn! Very cool! Positive reinforcement (praise or seeing good results) is always a great motivator for me. I've recently created a writing project schedule, so we'll see how well I can stick to it and if it will motivate me to write even more!

Alicia Dean said...

Yay for you!! So thrilled you're a finalist! My motivation is that I can't 'not' write, but then again, all my other duties take precedence and I've been neglecting my own writing. I have to figure out a way to do it all! Love your pics, the yard looks amazing!