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