ROW80 11.16 & Racking Up Cats

Cats, Kitten

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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.


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