Thursday, May 2, 2013

BICFOK!

by Alan

Are you a “carrot” or “stick” type of writer, with regard to your own motivation? Do you ever reward yourself for finishing a book/chapter/scene/sentence? How? What other types of motivation do you use?

When I’m in the middle of writing a draft, I’m a very disciplined guy. I’ve found that I don’t need much in the way of reward (or punishment). I set my daily word quota, then I sit down and bang out the words until I’m done. As I tell the students in my writing workshops, BICFOK! (Butt In Chair, Fingers On Keyboard). nike swoosh

Just Do It.

But…when I finish my quota, I get up from my desk—sometimes in the middle of a sentence—free to do something else. Unshackled from the sheer torture that is writing. So, in one sense, freedom is my reward.

[Rumor has it that sometimes I’ll dance around my office, singing “I’m Free” by The Who. Can you tell that I like “having written” much more than I like “writing”?]

When I was growing up, my parents talked a lot about intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards, and I guess I’m motivated on a broad scale by wanting to achieve my long-term goals as a writer.

And, of course, monetary riches beyond my wildest imagination.

I’d better get back to work. BICFOK!

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I’ll be at the Malice Domestic convention, tomorrow through Sunday. If you’d like to catch my panel, “If Miss Marple Were A Man: Male Cozy Sleuths,” with Miranda James, Stephen Kaminski, me, and Neil S. Plakcy (moderated by Terry Shames), we’ll be on Saturday, from 2:00 – 2:50. Otherwise, I’ll be buzzing around—if you see me, come up and say hi!

1 comment:

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Me too, Alan. Chasing a deadline doesn't happen unless BICFOK! Have fun at Malice.