Today’s guest blog post is brought to you by Yohana Petrovic.
How to Use Gamification to Turn Writing Into a Game
Gamification: it is the use of game thinking and game mechanics outside of the context of video games. The idea behind gamification is that if you incorporate the social aspects and the reward aspects of games into business, marketing, or another area of work, you will increase a person’s pleasure in their work as well as their production output.
Gamification does not necessarily mean that you turn work into a game, but that is the general principle. How, then, can you use gaming strategies to turn writing into a fun, fast paced game where you get a lot of work done?
1). Set up a List of Goals
You might have already done this on your own. You of course know what you need to get done in the long run – if you have a project or contract before you with a deadline, you know that you need to complete that project by a certain date. However, applying gamification to your goal setting means that you have to have set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals instead of a general idea of what you need to get done in the long run.
For example, if you are a freelance writer, you could set daily goals of creating and posting social media marketing blurbs every morning and evening, sitting down and completing one project or writing 3,000 words, and either writing a query letter or a blog post.
You could set weekly goals of writing blog posts every other day, sending out a query letter three times a week, and completing a certain set amount of work for the week.
As a yearly goal you could set an annual income that you want to reach, breaking that down to a monthly goal of how much you need to earn each month. The list can go on and on. However, it must be tailored to your working habits (unless you are trying to change them) and the type of writing you do.
2). Create a System of Rewards for Your Goals
To really gamify your writing process you cannot just have goals, you also must have rewards that you can reward yourself with for completing your goals. There are two effective and gamification worthy ways to create a system of rewards for your goals.
The first system of rewards that you can create for yourself is the simplest system. For every goal that you achieve, you give yourself a reward. The rewards start out small for completing daily rewards and increase all the way up through your yearly goals.
For example, after you complete a daily goal of, say, writing 3,000 words, you could give yourself the reward of closing your computer for half an hour and taking a walk or reading, or your could indulge in your favorite piece of chocolate or type of computer or word game. After completing all of your weekly goals you could reward yourself with a night out with friends over the weekend, or a massage, or weekend hiking trip – something that makes you happy and refreshed. Keep increasing the value of your goals until, if you reach your yearly goals, you let yourself take a special vacation.
The second system of rewards is slightly more complex, but it has the potential to be even more effective. This system dictates that you assign each daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goal a certain point value based on how much time and effort it takes you to complete it.
For example, you could assign a daily goal of creating and posting a morning and evening social media advertising blurb a point value of one. You could assign a weekly goal of sending out three query letters or making three cold calls a point value of five.
Then, you could assign each reward a point value. For example, you could assign a walk a point value of one, a piece of chocolate a point value of two, and a reading or a game or a movie break a point value of five. This way, you can pick and choose which rewards you want to work towards and reward yourself with on a given day. For some people this reward system keeps things from getting boring.
This article has some more excellent tips and tricks for making writing fun through gamification.
3). Readers Matter Too
Using gamification to make writing and working more fun for you is great. In fact, it could easily be enough. However, gamification has one more thing that it can do for you: it can help you make your writing more fun to read. If you do not have fun and interesting material for your readers to read, then you have no reason to write.
Gamification is, at its heart, about creativity and having fun. When you gamify your writing for your readers’ benefit, you must make it creative – you must draw your reader along through “incentives” such as pictures, or examples, or charts and infographics.
For example, make your paragraphs short – finishing a paragraph gives a reader a sense of accomplishment. Use examples in your writing to give your readers a clearer idea of what you are talking about. Keep your sentences short and sweet. The more you use action verbs, the more your readers will feel motivated by, and interested in, what you are writing. If you are writing a blog post, put a picture at the top. It will make people much more likely to read your entire post.
For even more tips, you can read this article.
Now, go out and gamify your work!
Thank you, Yohana. That was fascinating.
Yohana Petrovic is a writer and blogger. She has 10 years’ experience in educating and now she is a proofreader at globalessays.org. You can reach her on Facebook: Yohana Petrovic or on Twitter: @YohanaPetrovic
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