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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The carrot and the stick

So it comes as no shock to most of you that I am surfeit with projects and stories and Things To Be Done. I am also surfeit with Media I Want to Consume. What I am not surfeit with? Enough time to both do the things I need to do and consume the media I want to consume.

I take on too much. It is my great weakness. It is my albatross. But I find ways to deal with it.

Specifically, REWARDS. I reward myself for completing projects by consuming media -- but I punish myself until these projects are done. It's less effective than I'd like, but I haven't come up with a better system that solves both my problems. For example:

Finish reading People's History of United States
CARROT: Upon completion, will move onto reading America: The Book; will feel intelligent, well-read, and fulfilled, having meant to read People's History since before Ben Affleck had his teeth capped.
STICK: Will continue to feel dumb and poorly educated, and The Daily Show's nightly plugs for America will continue to taunt me.

HEARTtaker: Script for Issue #1
CARROT: Will get to see story in comic form, thus satisfying long-time ambitions; will indulge in entire day of tea and comics once done.
STICK: Will feel guilty about buying the few comics I do read; will do silly things like carry around Birds of Prey in bag for days without allowing myself to read it.

High-Con Rom-Com: First Draft
CARROT: Removal of the shrink-wrap from my West Wing Season 1 DVDs, and the ensuing orgy of watching.
STICK: Lowered self-confidence in abilities as writer; decreased ability to be functioning human being.

Thriller Project: Final Outline
CARROT: Once done, will be able to start writing the first draft of what promises to be a fun script; will also start shopping for a snazzy new coat (I haven't gotten a good new one since my junior year of college).
STICK: Lowered self-confidence in abilities as writer; decreased ability to be functioning human being; cold winter nights.

Like I said. Not the healthiest of methods, and not inexpensive, either. But learning how to motivate myself? Priceless. *g*

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