"To begin... To begin... How to start? I'm hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That's a good muffin." - Charlie Kaufman, Adaptation
Eddie and I were recently discussing how we reward ourselves for creative work. I used to have a system involving a stop watch and chocolate, but over the years I’ve moved away from the traditional goal-and-chocolate-reward method to other ways. Sometimes I repeat the mantra “I can do anything for 15 minutes” (which I really believe) and then proceed to dive into that particular task for 15 minutes as if my life depended on it, desperately, hungrily.
Rewarding yourself for a finishing off creative work is incredibly important, as it reminds you that no matter how hard the struggle or attempt, there is a time in which you have to walk away from it and label it “officially finished.” Working with rewards also helps you form good working habits, helps make your days perkier, and often puts the work you’ve been doing into perspective.
What do you do after finishing a huge chunk of creative work? Do you chill out and watch movies? Make some nice food? Dive into some sport playing or watching? A delightful ice cream cone or a cup of joe?