I have a feeling that I’m not the only writer who gets sidetracked by shiny things. A new story to work on, a world to build, a book to read. Lately, I’ve become distracted by playing this shiny game that you might have heard of, called World of Warcraft. It’s kind of fun to come home after a stressful day at work and beat the ever-living crap out of some badass spiders, or big furry monsters, or any number of bad guys. It’s really fun to reach the next level and find out you can now tame a badass spider of your own, or an owl to attack from above, or (in my case) a giant cat named after the bad guy in Fie Eoin. It’s fun, it’s new, it’s shiny.
It’s so horribly bad.
I haven’t written in days. I spent all weekend playing that game when my husband wasn’t playing it (we share a computer). I stopped writing my shiny new story just as I was getting to the extremely shiny scene where girl meets boy because this even shinier game showed up in my computer. And let’s be honest, the game rewards me with more shiny much quicker than the story does. Because the story is work. Because writing is hard but shooting arrows at spiders is easy. Because nobody gives me a new shiny when I finish writing a scene or a chapter.
But that all stops today, because today I’m going to make my new shiny game the new shiny reward for working on the old shiny story. Starting today I’m not allowed to shoot spiders until I’ve written at least a page on the story. Any story. Any page of writing at all! Not only will this get my butt in the chair, everyday, but I’ll get an immediate reward for it. I just made my writing as shiny and rewarding as the game, and hopefully once I’ve written the page I’ll be so wrapped up in the story that I won’t even need the reward right away. The story itself will be the reward.
Finishing the story will be the ultimate reward.
So let me ask you – what’s your reward for writing? Is it a shiny that you’ve come up with to get your butt in chair, or is it the story itself? A combination of both? Does it work for you? I’ll be back later to let you know if it works for me.