June 14, 2012

Finish your novel the self-blackmail way


There’s yet more help out there for those of us with no self-discipline. Aherk is a “goal-oriented self-blackmailing service” (still in beta) that functions under the premise that fear of embarrassment is the best motivator. Seems a fair assumption.

How it works:

1. You define a goal and set yourself a deadline.

2. You upload an embarrassing photograph of yourself to Aherk.

3. Once you reach your deadline, Aherk asks your Facebook friends to vote on whether you’ve achieved your goal. If you haven’t, it shares the pic of you covered in vomit/urinating in public/reading a Jonathan Franzen novel.

One problem: I’m sure I’m not the only person who makes friends almost exclusively with total bastards. Even if your friend had just written the debut novel of the decade in the space of a month, you’d vote to see the photo, wouldn’t you?

Back to the drawing board. I want this self-discipline outsourced by the end of the year, people.


Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.