Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pocket Muse Challenges: Egg-timer and Emails

First challenge: Egg-timer

Set an egg timer for forty-five minutes, and don't get out of the chair until the timer dings.  Even if you sit staring at the page the entire time, you're ingraining a habit.

Chickens and fraidy-cats may begin with five-minute segments.

(I love the little taunt that Monica Wood adds to this challenge.  I think that creating a habit for writing is vital if you are going to be productive.  It is like going to a gym/recreation center: you have to set a schedule and go, no matter what.  Even if all you do is walk slowly around a track or just sit in the hot tub for a while, you still need to go.  Develop the habit.)

Second challenge: Emails

Don't check your email today until you've written three pages.

(This is a way to create another helpful habit, putting work before play.  I don't know that most of us would be able to put in three pages before tending to email, but maybe make a work count goal or a goal of however many pages you are able to before succumbing to curiosity.  If email doesn't work as a reward in this challenge, use something else, such as television.  Tell yourself you can only watch T.V. after you've written a thousand words.  Basically, use the things that distract you to keep you on track.)

Excerpts from Monica Wood's The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing
Wood, Monica. The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing. Cincinnati, Ohio, 2002

Amanda LaFantasie (Skoora) © 2012

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