Kaye George gave me a kick in the pants.
Exactly what I needed.
She sent me the link to Written? Kitten!, an app which provides positive reinforcement at 100-word intervals.* (Or 200, 500, or 1000, for writers who don’t like cats as much as I do.)
Several weeks ago, I downloaded Write or Die, an app supplying negative reinforcement. The writer sets a target word count, and if, at the end of twenty-five minutes, he comes up short, something bad happens. Bad ranges from gentle mode to electric shock.
I logged out before suffering consequences.
The Written? Kitten! designers must have sat in on the same lecture I heard in my first education class: Negative reinforcement promotes negative results. For positive results, use positive reinforcement.
When the pigeon pecks the lever, give him food.
When the writer writes 100 words, give her a kitten. (I would say, Give him a kitten, but I suspect kittens are more of a girl thing.)
I’m composing this post on Written? Kitten! So far, I’ve earned one, a cute grey tiger with a white bib. He lives in Croatia.
And here’s–Kitten #2: an adult, a fluffy gray tiger with green eyes and a wicked expression.
I suppose I could prattle on, musing on operant conditioning and racking up cats, but I won’t. My own children have awakened for their evening snack plus wrestling match, and they’ve saved me a ring-side seat.
* At one kitten per 100 words, a NaNoWriMo winner would get 500 cats.
- Cute Cats Writing App ‘Written? Kitten’ For NaNoWriMo Authors (huffingtonpost.com)
- ….. and they pop (icanhascheezburger.com)