Extrinsic motivation

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Sometimes all you want to do is read the new Wheel of TIme book (8th Jan! Yippee, at last!). Sometimes once you’ve got started it’s hard to concentrate and just get the job done.

The 100k words in a 100 days is, of course, one way of introducing extrinsic motivation to the exercise. The Facebook group has a shared spreadsheet set up by the very clever Gerald Hornsby, into which we can all enter our daily word-counts. Competing with others to get the 1000 words for the day done is one way to keep motivated, as is the public accountability (although we’re all so outrageously supportive that there is really very little shame in not meeting the target). Others are so competitive that they are trying to get the highest number of words in a given day. I am competitive, but I am not sure that this would keep me going. I’ll have to hope it will once my deadlines are gone.

Deadlines are also one way of getting motivated, but I still procrastinate. A better extrinsic motivation for me, at least when it comes to contract work, is a visual reminder of what I’m aiming for. In my case I’m saving for a house deposit. There’s an open pdf in my browser with details of my dream house. By the time I’ve got there, it will have sold already, but the dream is there. Every time I lose focus in my work, I look at the picture and I head back to the words. I love writing, but sometimes I need a little boot in the butt to make sure I’m writing the thing I’m supposed to be writing… Speaking of which…


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