The Creativity Project: Carrot and Stick

Dawn Dalton
2 min readMay 30, 2024


Dangling rewards to get caught up

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

This quarter has been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. I ended April behind on my writing which hasn’t really happened in a long time. And I was having issues getting caught up.

So I had a brilliant idea of telling my hubby that I wanted to redecorate my reading chair corner, but that I shouldn’t do it until I’m caught up on my writing. He took that idea and ran with it. Every time I talked about it, I would get asked if I was caught up.

I wasn’t caught up, but I really wanted to decorate that corner.

Cue a couple of writing weekends where I put in the work to get caught up.

The reward worked and I got caught up faster than I thought I would. I celebrated by ordering the artwork that I wanted to hang over there. Now I get to organize my reading corner and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Conversely, a couple of my friends and I are doing an accountability group to get healthy. I don’t have a reward in place, but we have punishments of wall sits for every goal that we miss. I ended up taking my punishments instead of doing the regular work.

Punishments don’t work for me as much as rewards, so I need to figure out a better reward for that.

Hopefully, I don’t fall behind again this year, but if I do, I will hold out a carrot for myself instead of using the stick.



Dawn Dalton

Dawn is a freelance writer, gamer girl, aspiring author, and former manager of a game/ comic store. She can be found lurking on Twitter @theDawnDalton.