Monday, April 25, 2011

3 Tip Monday

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This Monday it's three tips to getting the most out of your writing time.

1. Plan ahead. Daydream about the scene you need to write next. Let it compost, percolate, ruminate, or otherwise stew in your mind. Use every available moment, washing dishes, folding clothes, walking on the treadmill, in the shower, whenever. This way, when you sit down to write, you'll have an excellent idea of where you're going and won't be tyrannized by the blank page.

2. Set goals. Hourly goals, daily goals, weekly, monthly, quarterly...set some goals, tell them to someone, and be accountable. One of my professors in college used to say, "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time." Don't aim at nothing. Set a goal and hit it!

3. Minimize distractions. Everyone has that thing that draws their attention. Some of us have several. Twitter, Facebook, Email, Youtube. Television, games, chatting with family/friends. When it is time to write, banish those distractions. For me, television can be a big distraction, so I get out of the house to write. There's no tv at the coffee shop and I feel like, if I'm going to spend the $$ on something as frivolous as a Black Thai Latte Fusion, then I'd better have something productive to show for it.

How about you? How do you maximize the time you have to get everything done that you want?


  1. Excellent three tips! I'm going to tweet this one!

  2. These were great tips!

    I've got a question for you. You don't do all your writing at the coffee shop, do you? So if you are at home, how do you minimize the distractions?

  3. I <3 Panera! I can get so much more done there than I can at home. An evening there can easily result in 2500-3000 words in 3-4 hours or less.

    Sadly, I can't afford to go there nearly as often as I'd like [either in actual cash or spousal good will ;)]. At home, I have to wait until the kids are being cooperative elsewhere.

    I have a hard time turning off other distractions but I do daydream. Constantly ;).

  4. I need to improve on #2. Sometimes I'm so much more "on" that than I am right now.

    ~ Wendy

  5. I have a to do list on the computer and I try to move methodically through the list. If that fails, I just try to dance as fast as I can.

  6. Libraries are another great place to write if you can find a corner where people watching won't be a distraction.

    When I'm writing at home, I put in my earbuds and listen to music on Pandora. My family knows that's their cue to leave me alone unless it's an emergency.

  7. I needed this. I have some BIG writing goals for the this week!

  8. I'm failing terribly in this maximizing time thing lately. I need a good kick in the pants--Really!

    Thanks for helping me get back on track with these pointers, Erica!

  9. Excellent post, Erica! Glad Katie tweeted this. Not sure how I missed following your blog, but what great stuff here!

    #1 is such a great tip! I tend to be pretty organized and goal-oriented, but I've had trouble freeing myself to dream in my character world outside of my designated writing time. Thanks for giving me permission. :)

  10. Katie, Thank you! :)

    Sherrinda, a change of location works so well for me...even at home. If I need to get a big wordcount in and I can't get out of the house, I get out of my office and hole up in the bedroom to write.

    Carol, you are lightning fast! I've watched your wordcount on NovelTrack, and I'm in awe! :)

  11. Wendy, it ebbs and flows. I have times when I'm more productive, and it can stem from any one of these three things...or all of them! :)

    CJ, I love lists, and you are a pretty fast dancer!

    Lisa, I like to switch things up and head to the library too, but you're right, people watching has to be curtailed. My local library has a quiet room, and I put my face to the wall in one of the carrolls and type like mad!

  12. Julie, yay for big writing goals! :D We still need to do the blog post swap too! :)

    Eileen, I hope these tips help, and that you have a great writing week!

    Sarah, thanks for dropping by, and I agree, I can sure tell when I haven't spent enough time letting an idea simmer before I try to write it.

  13. These are three terrific tips! I'm usually pretty good at #1 and #2, but distractions are hard to ignore. I've had out-of-town family with me for the past week and have done very little writing because I hate to abandon them to squirrel myself away in my office. I was even watching the granddaughters' Barbie video with them this morning! :O

    It's a short term distraction, however, and by tomorrow I'll be moping over the quietness around here. Then I'll immerse myself in my writing and try to catch up.