Monday, January 19, 2009

Rewards

Writers often tell each other that they should reward themselves when they reach certain milestones in their writing. Typically those include finishing a first draft, getting an agent or publishing contract, and seeing your book in print. Others allow smaller treats when they send it off to an agent, publish a short story, or finish an umpteeth draft.

That's where I come in.

I don't really think finishing the third draft qualifies for a reward, but since I didn't do anything for the first two (that I remember), Friday I bought myself something I've been eyeing for months:


The woman at the beach actually shortened it for me and took the large stone from a different piece to make me a customized necklace. Most of the vendors have similar merchandise and I've ogled this particular piece for months, but never asked how much it costs. Hopefully she didn't rip us off too much (we paid 100 pesos).

I was quite satisfied with my reward, then Saturday morning my dad and I went to the grocery store and I pointed out a cushion for my chair that I've been lusting over. (What can I say, I sit in a hard chair all day.) He offered to buy it for me and it was in the cart before he could eat his words.

Old, flat, uncomfortable cushion:


New, fluffy, orange (that matches the walls) cushion:


Please note that I can flip it over when I need to be in the "hot seat." Oy.


It feels like I'm sitting on a cloud!

*****

Of course I can't have all good news. I was catching up on blogs yesterday and came across a review for Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. It's about a 19yo Mexican and her journey north to America. Grr. The plot is different but it's still about a journey north. Crap!


*****

How do you reward yourself when you reach certain milestones, whether writing or some other task?

20 comments:

Lauren said...

100 pesos...isn't that just 14.50 USD right now?

Your new cushion looks very comfy! And cute. Nice color.

I'm such a huge fan of rewards. It not only helps me with feeling even better once I reach a certain goal, but it also makes me put off getting a certain object or activity until I have "earned" it. Usually my rewards are going out to eat or a bubble bath.

Melanie Avila said...

Lauren, it's actually just a little over $7. I suppose that's pretty cheap. ;)

I'm so bad at rewarding myself with gifts because I'm not actually earning any money, but I've had a lot of airport trips lately so I suppose $7 isn't too bad.

spyscribbler said...

Oh, don't you HATE when that happens? I hate discovering someone's done my idea, but it happens often. I suppose we just trust ours is different enough, but it always makes me nuts.

The first novel I'm thinking of writing has been done, but by a tiny press. Teensy-tiny. So...

Yay on the necklace! SO pretty, Melanie!

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, that one upset me because the other is some big shot. *sigh* I can't believe the MC's ages are even the same - what are the odds? But looking at the description, the plots are different, even if they both describe the Mexican landscape.

Thanks - I love the necklace!

Janna Qualman said...

The necklace is gorgeous! And it sounds like you got a great deal. Love the cushion, too!

When I finished Bliss Lake, hubby took me to a nice dinner. Come to think of it, I think we did the same after the publisher expressed interest. I sense a habit...

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I'm sure we went to dinner at some point, plus I finished the first draft right before we went to Acapulco for a week. Even though the trip was unrelated, I suppose it could be construed as a reward. :P

ac said...

When my first book was published, my sister flew up from Florida to take me out to dinner.

And my friend came down from Boston for dinner and a Broadway show.

I doubt anyone will do anything for my second book (comes out in the fall).

The experience isn't as exciting as the first.

The pic of the necklace doesn't show on my end, but the cushion does. I love the vibrant colors.

Melanie Avila said...

AC, no dinners this time around? That's BS!

It's a turquoise necklace with a larger stone that dangles down. I tried taking a picture of it while I was wearing it, but I couldn't avoid either a boob shot or double chin. I settled for it laying on the bathroom counter.

Amy Nathan said...

I had a lot of conflicting thoughts when I finished my first draft, and my reward was this amazing sense of accomplishment. It was akin to the way I feel when my kids do something great. I don't know the last time I felt that way about myself, if ever. I do like to commemorate special events so I think that when - and if - my book sells, I will buy myself a gift. Necklaces always work well, but I usually opt for a bracelet or ring, something I can *see*.

Melanie Avila said...

Amy, I liked your post about the ring and I think that's a wonderful reward for the reasons you said. :)

I felt great sense of accomplishment until I went out with my dad and husband and neither of them could care less. Oh well, that's why I have all of you!

Jen said...

What a beautiful necklace, Mel! And Yay! for dad. :D

Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever rewarded myself for writing milestones, except for promising myself I can go to bed or take a nap when I'm finished.

Maybe that's the key I've been missing. Great post! I'll think on it...

Melanie Avila said...

Jen! You totally deserve an award!

btw, you can see the shower curtain in question in the background of the chair pictures.

colbymarshall said...

Gosh, I don't know if I do! Maybe this is a trend I need to start. Love the jewelry, btw!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Colby, I'm really excited about it. :)

I think something little that you've put off doing - whether it's a manicure, nice lunch, or whatever - really keeps up your motivation. It's so easy to breeze by our accomplishments without recognizing that we've reached a goal.

Turkey Lurkey said...

Nice rewards! A writer always needs a little bling and a soft place to create!

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, the cushion is WONDERFUL!

Travis Erwin said...

I love reading about your life in Mexico.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Travis! I'm glad I can brighten your day. :)

Robin said...

I love the necklace and the cushion! You deserve them both. Your dad gets a Nice Daddy award. I'll think of something.

When I finished Shrink Rap, I bought myself clothes to wear to all the Talk Shows I was sure to do. Luckily, they're all appropriate for work. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, I'm sure you saw a lot of similar jewelry on your trip, right? I'll pass along the message to my dad. :)

New clothes is a great idea. I dread how many things I'll need to buy when we leave here - everything is getting worn out!