In our society we are always aiming higher, aiming for the prize. Most of the time we don't know what 'the prize' is, and when we do we rarely want it - but we want it anyway. Being told something is a reward makes us strive for it and suddenly we find we want that football that they offer us if we win something in school; that voucher we will receive if we spend over a certain amount of money on things we had no plan on buying. You get my drift, basically it seems that we are wired to want, want, want (or at least society has conditioned us to want, want, want).
In the past I've tried using this theory to motivate myself to write. Because, even when I want to write, actually sitting down and typing seems such a chore. So I'd promise myself I could have some chocolate if I wrote over a certain number of words. And the words would sometimes come and sometimes I felt that the chocolate wasn't worth the pain of sitting at my laptop striving for the right words.
Yesterday I had a theory. Instead of rewarding myself for writing, why not turn the writing itself into the reward? This really isn't as complicated as it sounds. Find a game that you enjoy, preferably one that is timed as this will stop you from spending all your time playing and not writing. I used Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook - I can only play for one minute and then I get my score. Every time I scored over 100,000 (if you don't play, trust me, it's not hard to get this score) I rewarded myself by writing a few more paragraphs of my WIP. Make sure you set a target that you know you will probably pass a majority of the time as, once again, you actually do want to do the writing.
The benefits of this system surprised me. By having to play a game each time I got stuck, I found that I was itching to get back to my writing most of the time - it became something I wanted to do, not something I had to do. And even when I didn't really want to write, I found that I went back to my WIP each time I scored high enough anyway. Because I had promised myself I would have this reward of writing and come hell and fire, I was going to take it. It is what I was saying at the beginning - we are wired that if something is offered as a reward, we suddenly want it.
I hope this helps motivate you to write (or whatever else you need to motivate yourself to do). Do you have any tips and tricks to share to get you writing?