May 24 2017

Trigger, Action, Reward, Investment in Writing

(If you took part in April, today is the day to stop over at the A to Z Challenge site. The survey results are in!)

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I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.
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To create my “pick up plan” I was supposed to download a template.

To download a template, I had to go to the site (again) and enter my name and email (again) and wait for yet another email that never comes (and yeah, I’ve checked spam).

I’m telling you right now, this is the one thing about this book that annoys me. If you’re going to offer a template, just offer it. If I have to sign up for your email list to get it, I’m irritated. If I have to sign up for the same stupid list MORE THAN twice, that’s not acceptable. (I still I’ve not received this stuff a week later. I might have unsubscribed after the first template, so maybe now I’m not eligible for the rest of them. I genuinely don’t want to be on this email list.) Right now, I’m ready to knock two stars off the review for this. I find this sort of campaigning to be offensive. You sold me 75% of your book, in my opinion. Not even a free book! No. That feels shady and underhanded.

I found this: But it isn’t the template that goes with this.

So I did a Google search. This is off by one word (it uses “investment” rather than “escalation”), but otherwise seems to match:


Sitting down with a tasty, caffeinated beverage triggers me to open a writing program. (Word, Scrivener, Google Docs)
The trouble with this is, no matter how many rewording attempts I’ve tried (that’s number 5, btw), I can’t find a way to make it always true. I do have beverages at other times of the day. I do open those programs for other reasons.
I’ve been meaning to try the tip of lighting the same candle everytime I sit down to write. Perhaps this is the time to give it a whirl.
Lighting the coffee candle will trigger me to work on this week’s activity to reach my end goals.


actions should be “easier than thinking”

I thought writing would be the action. But as I read (here and here and other site I listed), it doesn’t seem like it is. The action seems like it should just be to open the file containing the project.
On the other hand, the book suggests “writing for five to ten minutes” as an action.
Access the project, perhaps get a little work done.

Variable Reward

Based on the three sites, it seems the best reward is something I’d want but am not expecting. Like when I’m in the forest, living there for a few days, and need to get food. I want nutrition, but I don’t know if I should expect deer, rabbit, fish, or berries. What’s for dinner depends on a hundred little factors. (Have I ever mentioned how much “meal planning before writing a grocery list” makes me want to bash my head against the wall? I’m the only person screwed up enough to be excited when the grocery store is out of something. Until my beloved Snookums points out that there are two more stores within a mile. My actual favorite meal is “surprise me,” because not knowing what it’s going to be is always a million times more rewarding, and feels more real, than naming any certain dish. This is one of those times when people call me “difficult.”)

Okay, so… maybe if I toss a bunch of stickers in a box and don’t know what one I’ll get as a reward, that’d do it.

Ha! I found something!
Astronomy Picture of the Day.
My reward is viewing the APOD from NASA.

Investment / Escalation

In the book, the purpose of this is to get back into the habit. The escalation is that if I wrote for 5 minutes one day to get the reward, I’d have to write for ten minutes the next day for that same reward, and so on until I got back into my normal groove of writing for three hours straight or what have you.

The investment generally comes in the form of asking the user to give some combination of time, data, effort, social capital or money.

It’s possible the authors of the book considered buying the book to be the action and signing up for the same mailing list multiple times to be the Investment / Escalation. It’s having the opposite effect on me due to the lack of reward. (The stupid freaking email that never comes. Mouse presses button, mouse expects cheese. After three presses, the mouse isn’t gonna bother with the stupid button anymore.)

I’m not sure I fully grasp this one, but it seems like the long-term purpose is to figure out what will make me keep coming back to this over and over again.
Remember @JLenniDorner For Writing
My investment is a completed and published story. That’s important because:

((Update Note:
Subject: Book Formatting and a Quick Question
From: “Bookthority”
Date: Wed, May 24, 2017 2:03 am
I DID get an email where the authors are considering an ebook formatting class. So I know I’m on at least one of the mailing lists. Just not the one where I get the templates from the ebook.))

How do you feel when you’ve spent money on a book and then need to sign up for an email list to receive portions of that book?

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