The one writing tip that is getting me through the days

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timer

I like to write at home, as long as it’s fairly quiet. I actually do my most focused writing outside of the house, but I’m often too lazy to make myself presentable for the public. Plus, I like my house: it’s nice and bright and I like keeping my dog company. On nice days I can work on my back deck.

I like keeping my eye on this girl during the day!

I like keeping my eye on this girl during the day!

But I’m pretty distracted at home, even when no one is here. I’m constantly resisting the temptation to get up every time I finish a sentence. Laundry beckons, the countertops could use decluttering, and all those dishes in the sink! Needless to say, this doesn’t bode well for writing productivity.

I’ve experimented with a solution lately that seems to be working: setting a timer. So far I’ve been working in 20 minute chunks. For those 20 minutes, I sit in front of my computer. I do not:

  • Let the dog out
  • Answer emails
  • Get a refill of water or coffee
  • Check Twitter/Facebook/my texts
  • Change the radio station or CD

Whatever I want to do has to wait until the timer goes off. I’m finding that the desire to do those things above actually diminishes. Sometimes when the timer ends, I just start it again and wait another 20 minutes to do whatever I was going to do.

My goal is to increase the time to 25- or 30-minute chunks in the near future. I’ve been pleased with my focus while writing at home. Good thing, because I need a lot of focus these next couple of months!

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