NaNo Reward

This semester I’m taking a psychology course called “Learning and Behavior.” It’s all about how we learn, how we behave, why we behave the way we do, etc. It discusses ways to reinforce positive behavior and ways to get rid of negative behavior. My professor wants us to focus on our own behavior, but the textbook focuses on children in a classroom setting; which is fine with me because I’m able to use what I learn from the textbook and use it at work.

But I’m supposed to be focusing on myself. We have a behavior reinforcement project to do. In other words, I have to put myself on a behavior plan.

The first assignment was to come up with a behavior I wanted to increase or decrease. I had to admit, this was a tough decision. I have myself on a pretty tight schedule when it comes to balancing work and school. Then I realized… it’s pretty difficult for me to fit writing into that schedule because I work full time and always seem to have so much homework. So I thought, why not? I decided to put myself on a behavior plan that will get me to write more.

Write It

Of course I always want to write, but there are things that take bigger priority. My homework has a deadline, I have to be at work at a certain time each day, my writing… well, it has no deadline as I have nothing being published and I don’t have a certain time to write every day. I tried doing that and I didn’t get very far with it. The main problem is that I don’t write when I don’t have time and I still don’t write when I do have time because I’m usually exhausted from work and school.

After I decided on this topic and submitted it to my professor I thought, how am I going to do this? This isn’t an ordinary project where I sit down at my computer and type an essay or do research on Google. No, this is something I will be working on every day without even realizing it.

Yesterday, Kris and I were discussing NaNo and rewards. During July’s Camp NaNo session, Kris and I bought Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. We didn’t open it and left it leaning it against the TV. We were only allowed to open and play the game if both of us hit our word goals–50,000 for me and 25,000 for Kris. Due to the game staring us down, we both won and spent many hours playing the game when the month was over.

We decided to do something similar like that this year and reward ourselves for winning.

I told Kris that I was going to give myself a dollar for every 1,000 words I write. In other words, when I hit 50,000 I’ll have 50 dollars. If I only get to 34,659 I’ll have 35 dollars (remember: always round up!). Then I can use that money for whatever I want at the end of the month… it will most likely be for a new video game.

This idea has been in my head for a bit and I just realized about an hour ago that this is my project. My reinforcement for writing will be money. So I guess that solves that problem. I bet my professor is going to just love my project! The thing is I wouldn’t need a reinforcement system for my writing if it weren’t for homework tying me down all the time. Ironic, huh?

Is anyone else giving themselves any kind of reward; whether it’s a daily word count reward or an overall reward for winning?

12 thoughts on “NaNo Reward

  1. We seem to have some similar situations. I work 40 hours a week, take my online classes AND take care of my girls (3 and 3 months!) so writing is usually almost always out of the question. It honestly saddens me more than anything because I love it so much! There just seems to never be enough hours in a day. I’m working towards setting some goals for myself though and trying to follow through with them! Good luck on your project!! [:

    • Wow, you do have your plate full. It’s tough to balance everything that you have to do. Of course, the thing you want to do the most is what has to wait until everything else is finished. 🙂

  2. I reward myself with warheads. It has to be warheads, but when my friend and I wrote together (the only year she did it) we chose warheads as our rewards and it worked great. Plus, I like warheads.
    Seriously though, I understand about not having time. Luckily my classes are pretty easy this semester, but I’ll have to get a presentation out of the way before I start and I’ll have to make sure I don’t start skipping classes to write, since I’ll be working 20-30 hours a week.

    • What are warheads? I’ve never heard of that before…

      My classes are easy as well, but they give a lot of homework. Three out of my five classes has semester-long projects. So I’ll be trying to finish them up towards the end of November. Then it’ll be a bit hectic.

      Good with writing and school and work and all that fun stuff! 🙂

  3. Hmm I haven’t thought of a reward. I guess the finished work itself would be the reward – the bragging rights that I’ve completed a book. Getting it published or having something that I can give to publishers is also a reward. As much as I love to write, I would also like to have my works published and that end goal is my reward.

  4. Awesome idea, Rachel. I don’t reward myself for writing, per se – it’s more of a thing I have to get done every single day, like writing a blog post. No excuses – if it doesn’t get done, it’s an extremely rare situation. I refuse to go to bed without writing or editing SOMETHING, whether that’s FH or a poem or a song or whatever. 🙂

    • Good for you! I try doing that, but its so difficult; especially right now for school I have three projects and two essays going on mixed it with all the regular homework. Throw work and babysitting into the mix and… well, I’ve been reading every night lately, so that’s something right?

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