Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Writer's Wednesday - Productivity Tricks

This week PHS editor Donna Alward shares a few tricks for increasing your productivity - and meeting that deadline stress-free.

Last year Michelle Styles introduced me to chunk writing. The idea is brilliant in its simplicity - you sit down and you don't get up until you've written 750 words. Then you take a break and then sit down and write another chunk. Three chunks a day produces a very respectable 2250 words.

This really worked for me. Some days I would struggle to get 750 and I'd be watching my word count on the bottom of my document, just WAITING to get to 750 so I could step away. Other times I'd get in the groove and zoom right by the 750 mark before taking a break. It broke the manuscript down into smaller, manageable parts followed by a reward. Simple. Genius.

This year I've found something that works in a similar way that I love as well. While Twitter can be a total timesuck, I did find this one really great thing that I can hold up and say "but you see? Twitter IS good for writing and not just procrastination!"

It's called #1k1hr.

That's the hashtag and someone who is ready to sit down and get to it will put out a call - usually 15 minutes or so before they're ready to go. So a tweet of "I'm doing #1k1hr on the :15. Going to heat up coffee first. Any takers?" starts the ball rolling. Then you can join in. You start at the :15 and you end on the :15 and then report back to the participants how you did.

It's still chunk writing, only a chunk of time rather than words. Yes, the goal is one thousand words in an hour. You might get more. You might get less. BUT it achieves several things:

  • You commit to putting your butt in the chair and writing for an hour. No distractions.
  • You are in a group - you're in it together, and it can spur you on
  • You report back, and if you're competitive at all, you don't want to be the person saying "I only managed 150 words"
  • You cheer each other on, making it a really fun, positive thing
Then most people take a break and go back. The call will go out again, and you can join or not. When it comes to editing, I look at pages revised rather than word count. The word goal can be secondary - what is most important, at least for me, is the commitment to sitting down and focusing for an hour without distraction. The words come as the result automatically.

#1k1hr totally saved my bacon during my last deadline and I'm using it again as I get closer and closer to finishing my current WIP!




Donna's October release, HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART, is already available on eharlequin. You can read an excerpt and more at her site, www.donnaalward.com

1 comment:

  1. Maybe this is the solution I need, instead of trying to do it all in one push. *Goes to look for her kitchen timer...*

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