So my plan worked - sort of. After 2 weeks and some change, I managed to send a draft to my PhD advisor. In the end I earned about 15 downloads. There were days I worked on it with a will and other days where 30 min of each hour were spent reading blogs and other bits and pieces online. In the end, I was able to get it done. Bribing myself certainly helped me get the ball rolling, but the dangling carrot method is not what helped me to finish the albatross paper. In the end I think there were two things that helped more.
1)Deciding to do it. Sounds simple, but until I really decided to go for it, there were always other activities getting in the way. After a week of earning exactly one song, I finally just decided to do it. I cleared everything off my to do list except for this paper. No lab work. No blogging. Just writing. And now it's finished - go figure.
2)Getting an email from my PhD advisory that said, "ok where is it? We need to get it out." For me, one of the hardest thing about this whole science career is motivation. I love science, but some days it is really hard to be my own source of motivation. I've somehow managed to have fairly "hands off" advisors. And there are few deadlines. Many days it is really hard to get the ball rolling. A simple email really helped to keep up the momentum I'd managed to build up earlier in the week - go figure.