Monday, July 22, 2013

Need More Time to Write?

by Julie Daines

Finding time to write is a struggle for every writer. But more often than not, it's more than just finding time, it's using it wisely.

I've never met an author yet who doesn't lament how easy it is to sit down at the computer to write, and then get lost in the Internet while and hour or two slips by. Before we realize it, our writing time is wasted away.

Here are a few self-motivting options that can help you stay on task to make the most of your writing time.

For those of you who measure your writing by time, there are a lot of desktop timers you can download. These timers range from simple clocks to timers that keep track of how you spend your time. Check out MinetuerTimer, and Timer for Mac for free downloads. For more sophisticated timers, try 
Desk Top Task Timer or XNote Stopwatch (PC).

 My personal favorite is this 30 minute hourglass my husband bought me. I guess I'm a little old school, but if I find my mind wandering, I turn over the hourglass and don't allow myself to do anything on my computer other than write until the sands run out. Usually, after 30 minutes of serious work, I'm so into my story that other distractions loose their appeal.

Time is a good way to measure writing progress, because often, writing involves research and outlining and character studies and such--all of which aren't accounted for if your goal is simply word count.

Word Count Targets
Many authors manage their writing in terms of word count, setting goals such as 2000 words a day. This works especially well for things like NaNoWriMo. My favorite application for word count is the Project Targets feature in Scrivener.

I find great satisfaction watching my word count goals creep up the bar, changing from red to orange to yellow to green when the goal is finally achieved.
You can set daily goals, or project total goals with or without a deadline.

There are other apps out there that have similar functions and work without Scrivener, such as Word Counter.

What motivates you to use your writing time wisely?

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