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#FirstDraft60 Day 31: TODAY WE WRITE! (Timer Tuesday) #amwriting #nanowrimo #1k1h

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

1k1hr-timer-tuesdayHave 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:

#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 . . .

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)

  1. Carol permalink
    Tuesday, November 1, 2016 2:34 pm

    Can’t wait to start writing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol permalink
    Tuesday, November 1, 2016 3:57 pm

    Starting now. But will definitely participate in the #1k1hr tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shirley Taylor permalink
    Tuesday, November 1, 2016 6:29 pm

    I got started right away this morning at 7:30…when I got to 1,000 words my toddler work up so I sat with her for 30 minutes then wrote another 500 words then I stopped and took a break as I couldn’t think I was so tired I was literally falling asleep. I’m now 250 words short of my daily goal, but I’m pushing onward! 😀
    I won’t be able to take part in the #1k1hr tonight – possibly half of it though. We’ve been invited over to my brother-in-law’s house to celebrate my new sister-in-law’s birthday. My daughter is going to use her “after cake” time to get in her page or so of notebook writing (she’s writing mainly longhand but I’ll transcribe it on the weekends for her). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tuesday, November 1, 2016 9:44 pm

    I just finished my scheduled 1k1hr sprint—I wrote 1,456 words. I can usually do more than that, but since this is a new opening, it’s necessarily going to be slow. I was a really good girl and turned off my WiFi on the laptop and even powered off my phone! (It probably needed it, desperately, since I almost never turn it off.) So that leaves me almost 1,050 words left to write tonight to hit my daily goal of 2,500. Which I should easily be able to do sitting in the bed before going to sleep tonight. (The question now is, on the Surface, which I keep in the bedroom; on the laptop, which I’d have to unhook from the big monitor/keyboard/mouse and take in there; or longhand in a notebook. Must decide soon.)

    The biggest source of delay for me as I started writing was that I still did not know my heroine’s name as I started writing. I wrote about 300 words and tried all of the names I’d given her before, as well as the few I’d narrowed it down to yesterday. NONE of them worked. I was getting ready to just replace the last one with Heroine and have done with it. And then she basically told me that is her name. Except I was pronouncing it wrong—missing a couple of syllables.

    Her name is Hero Edwina. Her brother and foster brother grew up calling her Rowen, but now pretty much always call her Ro. But she will be going by Hero most of the time. That is, when she’s not being referred to as the White Falcon. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tuesday, November 1, 2016 10:26 pm

      Oh, and speaking of draft writing, I totally wrote this tonight:

      “something hyppolita quote about a greek heroine here.”
      “something else as a response from Mali that’s cheeky.”

      With a comment box out to the side that says “need quotes here.” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carol permalink
        Thursday, November 3, 2016 3:13 pm



    • Shirley Taylor permalink
      Wednesday, November 2, 2016 10:28 am

      Lol I had a feeling her name was Hero but I definitely like her personal take on it! So glad she finally shared it with you though! And I love your draft writing! lol


    • Carol permalink
      Thursday, November 3, 2016 3:15 pm

      Love it!! So glad you’ve got a name. 🙂


  5. Wednesday, November 2, 2016 12:37 am

    I got up two hours earlier than usual to write, but only managed one hour and 450 words (ugh, I’m so slow!) before my toddlers woke up. I had a conference call throughout their entire nap and then my job derailed the rest of my day and night with an endless last-minute assignment that I just completed at 12:30AM. So frustrating! And there was nothing I could do about it, so I missed my goal by 1550 words on the very first day. I’m trying not to get too down but it’s a bit of a morale crusher, especially combined with my pitiful one-hour word count.

    Love Hero’s name, and the draft writing example!


    • Shirley Taylor permalink
      Wednesday, November 2, 2016 10:32 am

      Don’t get down, toddler’s and life get in the way and getting up earlier probably fried your brain a bit (I know it does mine most of the time) and made you slower. Keep at it, but don’t feel like you’re now playing catch up, just aim for your 2,000 words again today and if the opportunity to add in a few more happens great, if not that’s okay! The most important thing is just to keep writing every day and get into the habit even if you only get 450 words written at least you wrote! 😀


      • Sarah Madelin permalink
        Wednesday, November 2, 2016 6:56 pm

        Thank you, Shirley, I really appreciate the encouragement! Especially needed the reminder to not feel like I’m playing catchup and to just move forward with today’s goal. And now I’m off to write my 2k for tonight!



  1. #FirstDraft60 Day 38: Timer Tuesday! #1k1hr at 8:30PM US Central #amwriting #nanowrimo |

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