by Donna MacMeans
This time last week I was on vacation, walking on a beach in South Carolina, when I found a lightning whelk half-buried in the sand. I picked it up, noticed that a snail still lived inside, and promptly tossed it back into the ocean. The shell would have made a lovely souvenir, but not at the sacrifice of the snail.
Later in the week we zipped down to Savannah, Georgia where I found the reward for my shell sacrifice. A pottery corset. How perfect is that? Sitting on a cage, waiting for the crinolines, my statuette is light blue with a little filigree design. One shoulder strap is slipped down just like on my book cover. Perfect.
Now, perhaps you don't see the corset as a reward for returning a snail to its home, but I think this is a necessary game we writers play with ourselves. Good deeds eventually are rewarded.
Hard work also begets rewards, but sometimes those rewards are a longtime coming. So we improvise. We substitute our own reward system for reaching intermediate goals. Write a chapter, treat yourself to a reward. Submit to an editor, treat yourself to a reward. Receive a rejection, then definitely treat yourself to a reward because this business is all about submitting. You can't sell if you don't submit and (unfortunately) open yourself to the possibility of rejection.
So tell me how you reward yourself? Do you have a reward system in place for reaching writing goals? I'll reward one of the comments with a pink corset keychain.