I didn’t get a sticker yesterday, but I’m going to get one this morning. So there.
Back in 2006 or so, I was working my way through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. One of her themes is that your inner artist is a child, and you need to love it like a child. Give it room to play. Treat it gently, and with lots of laughter. Somehow from that, I started giving myself a sticker every day that I had a writing session and worked on my novel. Stickers were fun. Stickers made me happy. Stickers gave me a bright, shiny record of my accomplishments and progress on my manuscript, and my inner artist felt pleased.
I’ve been giving myself stickers for most of five years now. On a bulletin board right by my desk hangs a calendar that gradually fills each month. Some months I’m consistent with my writing and the calendar gets bright and shiny. Other months a lot of it is blank. But the stickers add up, and so do the pages of my manuscript.
I had to be out the door yesterday by 7:10 to get to a doctor’s appointment, so I didn’t get my normal writing time in the morning. I even took my notebook along to the appointment, and worked for about 3 minutes in the waiting area. Sometimes waiting rooms for the doctor or dentist can be places of great productivity for me. (And besides, who wants to touch a magazine that a hundred sick people have sneezed on?) But they called me in quickly yesterday. So I didn’t get a sticker.
But I woke up this morning at 4:15 and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I’m gonna get my sticker.