January 4, 2011

Eschewing Distraction and Putting in the Time

(If you notice my diction change slightly in these entries, it’s because I’m working on this lush voice of historical fiction, and it’s affecting my blogging.)

Hello, stranger! I apologize for missing yesterday’s post. I had one of those days where everything I touched went to pieces. I had to call technical assistance or chat online with them extensively for two separate things, and I was about ready to go postal. Not to mention I had dental surgery in the afternoon.

It’s funny, really, but I’ve been feeling resistant to diving back in to the internet. I love you guys and the interactions I have, but the sense of calm and the focused productivity I’ve been able to maintain over the last couple of weeks has been amazing. But today I’m diving back in, nonetheless. I’ll be paying more attention on Facebook and loitering over on Twitter.

Writers have different ways of ensuring their productivity. Some have goals like a certain word count or a certain number of pages. I find that my best approach is to set a certain amount of time, rather than a certain number of pages. (For this, I have a free online timer program that I set to work and then forget.) For some reason, this lets me fall back into the arms of my muse in a way that piecework can’t. If I think about the number of pages I have to go yet, I get slightly panicky, but if I think, I’ll just put in the time and have faith in the process, I’m actually much more productive. Turn the crank and something will come out.

It doesn’t stop me, when I’m not writing, from obsessively counting my pages (73) or my words (24,018) or from trying to calculate the amount of time it’s going to take to finish this rewrite (3-4 months), but it does allow me a more productive writing time when I am.

Questions of the Day: What “tricks” do you have to ensure you productivity?

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