|Treats in a French chocolaterie|
|For the serious chocolate lover - Berlin style|
|Frog Prince - just for a romance lover|
We've all got tricks we like to try when the going gets tough. A long walk, a chat with other writers, a soak in a bubble bath, letting the mind wander over that knotty plot problem. I've heard some people speak of walking away from a project and waiting till the muse is ready. I agree that there are times when it's best to take a break from a project and try to get a new perspective on it. That way you can hopefully nail what it is about the story that's not going well. But, with editor and readers waiting for the next book, simply taking a long break or writing only when you feel in the mood, isn't usually an option.
I can see your shocked faces, and hear your hiss of indrawn breath, but hear me out.
Who does't need a little incentive now and then? We all know the benefits of positive reinforcement to encourage achievement and a positive frame of mind.
Some time ago a friend sent me the largest block of Lindt chocolate I've ever seen as a thank you for helping her with a manuscript. Imagining what that would do to my waistline, I told myself I'd only eat some after I'd written x number of new pages each day. Not only did my production improve but so did the writing!
|The Germans even have a chocolate parliament building!|
I'm not suggesting that you eat your weight in chocolate to finish a book, but I've learned that setting myself a goal and a reward can help me stick at a project even when I don't want to. Of course the treat needn't be chocolate, but I admit I do like to have a little treat of it now and then. In case you're wondering, yes, these are my photos, taken on a recent European trip.
|Annie's June release.|
When it's summer holidays and the rest of the family is relaxing but I have to stay at my computer, I tell myself that when I finish my pages or the scene or a certain amount of time at the computer I can have a reward. Maybe it's to go socialise, or watch the Australian Open Tennis (a real summer treat) or go for a swim. The same when I'm having a tough time with a story. I can't afford the time off and just walk away from a project, but setting myself a reward when I've made some sort of progress helps. Maybe it's coffee with writing friends, or some other outing. Or yes, maybe it's chocolate.
How about you? Do you find an incentive (or if you like, let's call it a bribe) helps you through your work when it gets difficult? What's your favourite treat when you feel you've achieved? Maybe with writing or work or some other goal you're trying to achieve.
Annie's latest book, UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH, is a Presents Extra release in North America this month. Romantic Times gave it a 4 star review, describing it as 'an emotionally compelling read'. You can read an excerpt on Annie's website or buy it from the usual outlets.