#FirstDraft120 Day 94: Timer Tuesday! (New Year, Revised Goals) #amwriting #1k1hr
Happy New Year!
Moving forward with our “New Year, Revised Goals” theme for the remainder of FD120, our challenge on Timer Tuesdays will be to schedule and complete a solid one-hour block of writing-related work during the day. If you’re still working on a word-count goal for your first draft, please continue with a regular 1k1hr sprint, if you so desire. For those of us who are now looking at a goal of spending more time writing, the focus of that scheduled, uninterrupted hour isn’t trying to hit a word-count but just making sure we’re completely focused on something fiction-writing related for the entire hour with no distractions.
IT’S TIMER TUESDAY!
I’m going to try to do my #1k1h fiction-focused hour today at 3:30 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 Standard Time) on the left, and your city/location on the right. For example, 3:30 PM Tuesday in Nashville is 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Sydney, Australia.
What time will you be doing your 1k1hr today? Or if you absolutely cannot do one full hour, how will you make sure you get at least one hour of writing-related work done today?
Remember, the more support (and accountability) there is, the more successful we’ll all be!
1k1h Tips for Success (Updated for New Year, Revised Goals)
- Prevent Interruptions.
Let anyone within your household know that you need one uninterrupted hour to try to head off at the pass any interruptions.
- Set a Timer.
This is most important. Don’t do this by just watching the clock. You’ll find yourself only watching the clock and not getting anything accomplished. Setting a timer allows you to forget about the time and concentrate fully on your project.
- Prepare Ahead of Time.
Schedule your 1k1hr time far enough in advance (allow yourself at least an hour if not more) in order to start thinking about what you’re going to work on. Even if you’re doing something else until just about time to work, you can still use part of your brain to be thinking ahead as to what scene you’re going to write or what story idea you’re going to work on. Be sure to allow a few minutes before your work time starts in order to truly prepare, though.
–For Sprint Writing: Re-read the last few pages you wrote (without editing/revising!) to get your head back into the story and figure out where you need to pick up. Review your outline and/or character pages in your Story Bible. If you’re going to be sprint writing, put all of that away so you don’t use those to procrastinate during the hour.
–For Project Time: If you’re focused on building time rather than word-count, surround yourself with all of these things in order to keep from having to stop to find stuff as you work. The more things you have that will spark your creativity and present new ideas to you, the better.
–For Sprint Writing: If you listen to music while writing (I recommend instrumental so that you don’t get distracted by the lyrics), have it set up and playing before starting your timer. Use earphones, even if you’re working at home, to block out any sounds that might pull you out of your story.
–For Project Time: Have you considered setting up a “playlist” for your story/idea? Do you have a theme song for each of your main characters? How does/could music play into your story idea/character development. (See this post for an example.)
- Wear Earphones.
If you can’t listen to music while writing/working, I recommend wearing the earphones anyway. People are less likely to interrupt you (at home or working somewhere like a coffee shop) if you have them in/on—and they help block out other distracting sounds.
- Prepare Your Work Space.
Make sure your work space (both physical and mental) is set up and ready to go before you start your timer, whether your sprint writing or working on a writing-related project for the hour. In other words, make sure that about five to ten minutes before you start the 1k1h time begins, you’re in the process of getting ready to work.
- Eliminate all distractions!
Silence or turn off your cell phone (unless you’re using it as your timer—then don’t turn it off, just put your phone in Airplane Mode; or if there are people who may absolutely need to get in touch with you—spouse, kids, etc.—set up your Do Not Disturb with exceptions for those few people.). Close your Internet browser. Close Facebook and Twitter. Close your email program if you use something like Outlook that isn’t web-based.
Can’t figure out how to get started sprint writing? Check out one of the previous Timer Tuesday posts for ideas.
Don’t forget to check in with your progress and how you do with your own 1k1hr writing/project time today!
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