(Before she had a baby) Shana wrote ten pages every morning. Like clockwork. The trick was, she told me, was knowing how long it took her to write a page. She had timed herself and knew it took X minutes to write a page. Then, every day when she started to write, she also started a stopwatch. Once she started writing she couldn't stop to go to the bathroom, get a drink, or succumb to any other distraction because it would throw off the timing.
The Stopwatch Method
- With the Alphasmart at the ready, I open the stopwatch on my iPhone and click start.
- If I need a mental break (usually after about 25-30 minutes) I stop the timer for a few minutes.
- Then I click start and dive back in.
That's like NINE pages an hour!!!
I'm trying not to think about how I managed to waste all that time before--daydreaming, people watching, doodling, brainstorming. Blah, blah, blah. I could have written twice as many books in the same amount of time.
Why Does it Work?
I think it's knowing that the clock is ticking. It's like a race and, as a former competitive swimmer, I know all about racing to beat the clock. It encourages me to stay focused for those short(ish) bursts of time.
Will it work for you? I don't know. It might not work for me tomorrow, or on the next book, or five years from now. But it's working for me now. And with my deadline screaming closer, I'll keep trying until I have to click send. Fingers crossed.