29 May 2013

What's working

Leaps and bounds this week! Over the weekend I stumbled upon a writing process that actually seems to be working for me. Meaning I've made significant progress on my pseudonym's novel...took it from about 8,000 words to over 21,000. It's not done yet (I think it's going to end up being around 40k words--so a novella), but at least I feel unstuck.

Here's what I'm doing:

a) I'm writing in 30-minute sprints. I disconnect both iPad and computer from the Internet, set the timer on my iPad for 30 minutes, and sit there in front of my novel tinkering with various sections until the timer chimes.

b) I'm thinking about my day in terms of doing several 30-minute writing sprints, between which I take breaks to walk, eat, do email and social media, etc. This is important because it means I'm thinking about writing as the business of the day, rather than thinking about marketing or email or meetings as the business of the day. It's a psychological trick, but it's working for me. And if, when the timer goes off, I happen to be in the middle of a sentence or I'm having fun tinkering, I press Start again and do another 30-minute sprint. But I always give myself permission to take a break between sprints, which means I don't feel overly pressured or trapped.

c) My goal, during a 30-minute sprint, is to show up to my writing. That's it. I don't have particular expectations about number of words or finishing a particular scene. I tinker with whatever pops out at me for 30 minutes. And I don't expect that every sprint will be productive; the point is to keep my head in the story for those 30 minutes.

So that's it. That's what's working for me right now. What's working for you? What has worked for you in the past?

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