#FirstDraft60 Day 31: TODAY WE WRITE! (Timer Tuesday) #amwriting #nanowrimo #1k1h
Have you already started? Are you geared up and champing at the bit, waiting for your lunch break or for the end of the work day in order to get started writing?
Today is our first writing day of the challenge. Please check in when you can with your goal of what you intend to accomplish today, and then don’t forget to actually do it! Then tomorrow, you can check in with today’s results and your next goal.
And if you need a little help getting started with your opening scene, check out these posts on writing openings:
- Finding Your Beginning in “The End”: Is Writing the Perfect First Line Really a Big Deal?
- SCENE IT: 1-2-3 Blast Off! Crafting Out-of-this-World Scene Launches
- Hooking the Reader: Love at First Sight
- Debunking Writing Myths—The Opening Salvo
IT’S TIMER TUESDAY!
#1k1h Sprint from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM US Central time*.
*To determine the time of the 1k1hr sprint in your time zone, go to the Time Converter website by clicking the image above and inputting my time (as Nashville or Central Time as shown) on the left, and your city/location on the right. For example, 8:30 PM Tuesday 11/1 in Nashville is 12:30 p.m. Wednesday 11/2 in Sydney, Australia.
Even though it’s the first day, that doesn’t keep it from being Timer Tuesday. Now, for myself, I have added at least one #1k1h for almost every day in November. But Tuesdays are our days to make a concerted effort to do at least one as part of our writing time. Now, just in case you’ve forgotten since Friday . . .
- No Interruptions. Pick a time when you know you can have sixty minutes of uninterrupted time. Sometimes, it helps to pick a location in which you don’t usually work—a cafe or coffee shop, a library, or even a different room in your house. Just make sure it’s somewhere it’s guaranteed you won’t be disturbed.
- No Procrastinating. Commit yourself to doing nothing but writing during that hour. No emails, no Facebook or Twitter, no blog reading/writing, no research. No thesaurus or dictionary. If you don’t know a word, can’t think of the right word, or aren’t sure you’re using a word correctly, just use a blank line or highlight what you’ve used so you can come back to it later. During this hour, turn off the internal editor and draft write.
- Unplug. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine posted a link for some software she’d purchased that will block her access to the internet for a specified period of time. Now, I’m bad about keeping my email program open when I’m sitting at the computer and reading each email as it comes in when I’m supposed to be working. And now that I’ve had a smartphone for a few years, it’s even worse. Oh, yeah, and I usually sit in the living room where the TV is—and the TV is almost always on. So when doing #1k1hr, it’s best to try to get away from all of that. Try working away from the computer (writing longhand) or try unplugging/turning off your modem (most laptops have a key which will turn off a WiFi connection; mine is on the F2 key). Turn the TV off—or move out of the room where it is. Turn off sound/vibration notifications on your smartphone, or put it on Do Not Disturb—you should be able to set it up so that emergency contact phone numbers will still ring through but no other alerts will. (I’d say turn it off completely, but since some of you have kids, you still need to have the phone feature available.) For this hour, writing is your job, your profession, so act like a professional who’s on the clock—and on a deadline to produce a quota of words.
- Set a Timer. This is one of the most important aspects of #1k1hr. If you set a timer, you’re much less likely to be continuously watching the clock to see if your hour is up or not. With the knowledge that an alarm will sound when time is up, it’s much easier to focus on your story and characters and forget about time altogether. If you’re able to leave your phone alone for an hour, most phones have a timer feature in the clock app (or I’m sure you can download one), though they won’t sound if your phone is on DND. Windows 8 and 10 have a built-in clock app that includes a countdown timer with an alarm. Even though I didn’t use the iPad for writing when I had it, it had one, too. And you can download timer apps to your computer. Or use a $5 analog kitchen timer. Set it for 60 minutes and start writing.
- Walk Away. When time is up and the alarm sounds, STOP. If you need to finish a sentence or jot down a few ideas so next time you remember where you were going with the scene/idea, that’s okay. But you need to get up and walk away (after saving your work, of course). If you’ve built up momentum by the end of the hour and the words and ideas are flowing, stopping and walking away in the middle of it may be one of the best things you can do for yourself—because it makes you anxious to get back to it. So walk away, take a break, and relax for a little while. The come back, set the timer for another hour, and sprint again.
Happy writing! (And don’t forget to check in.)
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