Which one motivates you? Some folks like reward, while others do better if they’re avoiding punishment. I always tended to be a stick person. I think it comes from too many years in the dance studio, where I, quite literally, got hit with a stick.
But I think I finally found a carrot.
My ego got a couple of bad kicks recently. Let’s just say that Lynn’s Best Week Ever was the complete opposite of mine. Presents contest—nope. Golden Heart—nope. A one-two punch that carried that extra-special kick of being happy for someone else while bemoaning my own bad luck.
(And yes, I am genuinely happy for Lynn and her amazing success. I’d be happier for me, of course, but I’m tickled for her. She’s worked really hard for this.)
So on Tuesday night, after no happy Golden Heart phone calls, I was a little blue. Me and a thousand other people, right? I couldn’t help it. Yes, it’s a crap shoot. Yes, I should be happy with the other successes I’ve had. Blah, blah, blah. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. I wanted to final in the Golden Heart, dammit, and no amount of justifications would take away the disappointment of not doing so.
Maybe I was a slightly deeper shade of blue than I thought, 'cause I seemed to worry the Darling Geek just a bit. I guess it rolled over into Wednesday morning as I was getting ready to go to class—I’m subbing for an instructor at the local university while she’s out on maternity leave. DG finally called on Wednesday afternoon to check on me and make sure that I wasn’t going to give up writing forever. He was quite surprised to find me totally recovered from my funk and almost chipper.
Seems I found the cure to the non-finalling funk.
Three back-to-back classes of eye-rolling freshmen with attitude problems had reminded me how much I dislike teaching. I’d rather write than teach any day. And as long as DG is willing to support my writing habit, I can stay out of the classroom, and those students can roll their eyes at someone else. Volia! One carrot.
DG wants to make it a rule that from now on, I have to teach the day after any contest results are announced or any letters from editors are opened. Just to help me keep it all in perspective, you know.
I’ll probably still need the stick occasionally. Old habits die hard. So are you a stick person or a carrot person? And what’s your carrot?