Monday, May 10, 2010

Being your own boss, scholarship edition

Since September, I've been putting some money in the bank each paycheck because I wanted the time to write this summer instead of teaching a summer course. This is in part an extension of the "book review mantra"; I can manage with less money (I hope), given what I've saved, but I can't get back the writing time that I'd usually spend grading and teaching.

Now here's the part that sounds a little crazy: what I've saved isn't exactly as much as a summer course, but I'm thinking of it as my salary for the next 6 weeks. I have $X amount per week, and thus $Y amount per day, that I am paying myself to write. If I don't write, I'm not only wasting time; I'm wasting money. Every day I don't write is not simply a day that I could have gotten some writing done; it's a day when I could have been teaching and making money instead.

In a way, it's not terribly different from what we usually do when we think about writing and productivity. Somehow, though, having to account for that $Y at the end of the day as well as for a word count seems to give the whole thing a different twist.


Ink said...

Very smart! And how wonderful that you'll be writing. With room and time of one's own.


Musey_Me said...

Interesting way to think about it!

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea Undine - a type of double edged *spur*. Indeed, quite inspirational ... I suspect you may yet set a trend.

Good luck with the writing and with your productivity.

ArticulateDad said...

I remember hearing about some commitment program whereby each participant pledged that if they didn't fulfill their commitment they would donate $X to a cause that they found abhorrent, like say Sean Hannity pledging to donate to a gay rights coalition.

You could tell yourself that either you write as you promise, or you'll donate that day's "wage" to some cause anethema to your beliefs. Sounds like a good motivator to me. ;)

undine said...

Thanks, Ink! I hope that it works.

Musey, I can't tell if it's interesting or a little nuts, but if it works, I won't mind.

Thanks, Anonymous!

ArticulateDad, I heard about that program. I think I'd be so filled with rage at supporting something I hated that I wouldn't work--but it may be worth a shot.