I love playing lottery tickets, specifically scratch-offs. I won more prizes with those than guessing some magical numbers for a billion dollar ticket. The highest prize I ever won was $100. Risky, I know.
Some of you might be thinking there are better ways I could be making money. You’re right!
There was a point I was spending way too much money on tickets. C’mon, I must save some money for bills, food, and other important expenses. I cut down my lottery ticket budget from $10-$30, nothing more.
I’m a writer and avid reader. Why not put those habits into play?
Every year, I set up a Goodreads reading goal. I can read a certain number of books before I even consider touching another scratch-off.
Plus, I’m always looking for new ways to increase my writing habits. I mean, what kind of person call themselves a writer if they don’t even write?
The outcome: I’ve created a basic writing/reading game with an experience points system.
Writing/Reading Point System
- Completed books I’ve read: 3pts
- Completed scripts (in book format): 3pts
- Posted blog posts: 3pts
- Outlines (if not anything else done during the day): 1pt
- Drafts: 2pts
- Reading (doesn’t apply to comics/manga): 30pgs (1pt), 60pgs (3pts), 90pgs (6pts), and 120pgs (9pts).
- Completed reading/writing goals: 12pts (Goodreads, resolutions, weekly word counts, etc.)
- Submitted freelance writing job applications: 6pts
- Lottery tickets
- Money sent to important bank accounts
I created this system after modeling video games. We stay hours in our seats collecting points to level up or purchase a special, magical item. What could we do if we applied this habit to real life rewards?
My game goal for each month is 90pts. After that, I decide to either spend a limited amount on lottery tickets or send money to the bank. If I choose tickets, any monetary prize I don’t want goes to the bank as well.
I’ve set up a lottery goal too: $500. So far, I haven’t won it yet.
After playing around with my basic writing system, I created another game: The Thoth Challenge.
THE THOTH CHALLENGE
Thoth is one of my favorite Egyptian gods.
For those who don’t know, he is the god of magic, writing, and wisdom. Thoth is also the record keeper of the gods. You can imagine this man never stops writing! I wanted to embody this.
Here’s how I’ve set up the system:
THE THOTH SCALE
- Scribbler (my current status): 0–3,000pts
- Scribe: 3,001–6,000pts
- Novice Writer: 6,001–9,000pts
- Page Apprentice: 9,001–15,000pts
- Page Journeyman: 15,001–24,000pts
- Page Master: 24,001–39,000pts
- Magician of the Word: 39,001–63,000pts
- Child of Thoth/Seshat*: 63,001–102,000pts
*Thoth’s companion, goddess of writing
- Completed books I’ve read: 3pts
- Submitted short stories (fanfiction mostly): 6pts
- Paid blog posts: 12pts
- Read screenplays/plays: 3pts
- Completed script drafts: 6pts
- Script competition entries: 9pts
- Rewarded scripts (and mentions): 12pts
- 3,000 weekly word goal: 12pts
- Completed monthly reading/writing goals: 30pts
All the points collected from the basic system (mentioned earlier in this post) are converted into the Thoth scale.
August 2018: 834 pts
September 2018: 297 pts
834 + 297 = 1,131pts
The points from August 2018 are all the points made up from starting the Thoth Challenge (back in 2017) to the end of August 2018. The September points are only those made during the month. All the points together place me in “Scribbler” status.
I have a while until I become the “Child of Thoth.” I haven’t decided on a prize for the position yet, but I’m sure it will unfold itself after all the writing and reading accomplishments I will make.
It’s impressive how much I’ve setup to win some quick lottery cash. I don’t use it as my only goal anymore. Soon, I’ll be writing enough as a full-time freelancer with excellent pay, no praying and crossed fingers required.
Let me tell you; I’ve smashed more reading and writing challenges after I’ve created this game. I’m thankful I made this as part of my writing journey.
Feel free to try these games or create a system along with your personal rewards. 😃