Instant or Delayed Gratification?

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How are you with delayed gratification? When I was in nursing school, I would study so hard to make good grades, but sometimes, even though the grades were good, family matters and personal issues would result in me having to withdraw and wait a year to pick up the course again as everything was in sequence for the nursing program.

I really wanted to see my familyโ€™s standard of living improve, so I stuck with it and endured to the end, but it wasnโ€™t easy. It took me eleven years to get a four year degree.

Nobody says writing, publishing and marketing a book is easy. It takes months, even years, to write and prepare a novel, publish, and even more months and years to effectively market, unless you already have a fan base built up.

Do not be discouraged. If you really want to see your books sell, it will happen.

When things seem to slow down, and progress seems too far away, I sometimes need to step outside of the task at hand do something that gives me a sense if instant gratification. I make jewelry, bead necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Unlike my writing, hours later I have a completed project in my hands. It is that feeling of completion with something tangible to show for it that helps me along.

If you are one of us writers who needs instant gratification, knit, crochet, bead, paint, drawโ€ฆfind something that will give you instant gratification to balance out that feeling that your writing project is an eternity away from completion. Or find some way to reward yourself for smaller accomplishments along the way…a weekend spent camping in exchange for a weekend of writing, a Sunday drive along the coast for a week of writing, a video game for every fifteen hundred words.

Then go back and write!

Don’t give up!

Find your balance.

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22 thoughts on “Instant or Delayed Gratification?

  1. Yeah, I think it’s the lack of gratification that was slowing my writing down for awhile there. With nothing ready to publish and sales of my published works slowing down, I wasn’t getting it anymore. Made me wonder what the point was. It took me a while to remember what the point was. Now that I have, I’m back at it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And you’re on to something with the idea of finding something else to get more immediate gratification. I was at an event Saturday where a saxophone-guitar duo provided great background music. Motivated me to get back into learning how to play the sax. Now I just need to follow through.

    • Good for you! We all need balance…just to take a break, manage stress and not constantly be focused on writing and success. Stepping away for a while, if only for a day, provides refreshment…else we are burning the candle at both ends.I played the tenor sax in Junior High School. All I knew was Christmas music and the song Smoke on the Water. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Don’t think I’d even know how to blow the mouthpiece now.

  2. Well said, Sk! I love that cartoon. I can be an impatient person in many areas in my life, but when it comes to my writing, I just go along for the ride. Perhaps it’s because I don’t depend on my writing to pay my mortgage. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. My favorite lines: When things seem to slow down, and progress seems too far away, I sometimes need to step outside of the task at hand do something that gives me a sense if instant gratification.

    I’m going to vacate my writing chair right now and take a walk. It’s cool and pretty outside at the moment. Thanks for the nudge to keep things in perspective today.

  4. Great post Susan. I also waited a number of years to finish my MBA. I then waited more years until the last was out of college before quitting my job and moving on to what I really wanted to do all along. Right now, I wouldn’t change a thing.

  5. It’s a waiting game, no doubt. Finishing a book is only the first part–and sometimes actually the quickest part. It can take months to years of querying (if one goes the traditional route), and if the book does find a publisher, it can be another one to three years before it’s published. Being able to delay gratification is a must. I like your suggestion of taking up other pursuits where the reward is more immediate.

    • I think about my series plans and I know, even if I self-publish, it is going to be years before they hit the market. I could easily get discouraged if I didn’t have something else going on.

  6. I agree, Susan. Sometime you need to step away and/or give your rewards. My house is a total mess right now, and I’ve been ignoring all sorts of things, but I try to get to the gym everyday (which also gives me a chance to talk to people) to give myself a break. Or read a blog post or go on Facebook for a few minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sometimes other types of work are also a nice change. I haven’t done any test writing in the past couple of months because I need to get the book done, but sometimes writing those assignments also works for instant gratification–I write them, get them reviewed, make corrections, and then get paid!

    OK. Back to work for me now!

  7. Balance is such an important word in all aspects of life, so well done… and cheers to your new boat! (Trying to make for some lost ground this week in my visits … Hi SK).

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