How Do You Do It?
The simple answer? I put my ass in the chair and I write. I set a timer on my phone. 45 minutes of sprinting with no Facebook, no music, no television--nothing for a distraction.
I am something of a pantser meets plotter. I already know all the major goal posts in the story, so I follow those goal posts and let the story travel organically from there. In an ideal world, I'll hit 1500 words per 45 minute sprint. Sometimes I come in a little shorter, other times longer.
Here's a sample from the other day:
- 8-9: 1707
- 9-10: 1770
- 10-11: 2001
- 11-12: 1988
- 12-1: 1687
- 1-2: 1503
- 2-3: 2017
I sprint for :45 minutes, then I have 15 minutes to stretch, dance, swap laundry, get a cuppa tea, whatever. Then back to sprinting.
Yes, all day. I try to do in 8 hour blocks, just like an office day. I leave myself a window for 30 minutes at lunchtime. The stretch breaks are vitally important to the success of the sprints. I have a standing desk, so I alternate between standing and sitting in various sprints so I don't have tired legs or sore back.
The sprints let me hit a 10K goal every day if I stay in an 8 hour writing window, if I go longer, I get more, if I go shorter, I get fewer. Four days into the sprints, I'll get some fatigue. Ideally I take a shorter day on day 4 or 5 and switch out to some other task: editing, blogging, or reading...something to refresh the muse.
This week I don't get that luxury because in a couple of days, I'm rolling out for vacay as I said earlier. This method works for me because I treat my writing like I do exercise, build stamina through regular intervals and varying my goals so I keep the mind sharp.
What if you get stuck?
I don't get stuck, if I find the words slow or I am slowing down, I vary it again. I may switch to 30 minute sprints with 15 minute breaks. I don't increase the break times, just vary the writing time. Sometimes if I'm writing and my timer goes off and I'm still in the middle of a thought, I keep going. When I finish whether it's 5, 10 or 15 minutes later, I still get my 15 minute break.
Those refreshers keep me charged and off I go. Does that help? I hope so. Every writer is different. You have to find the method that works for you. I'm off, time to sprint!