The good news is within the last two weeks I achieved my goal to write 1,400 – 1,5000 words everyday on my novel.
They are ugly and rough, but I still got the bones of my story down on paper. That alone thrills me, but even more so when I realized it totaled to 10,000 new words each week. This doesn’t include additional blog posts, client projects, etc., so woohoo! Yea, me!
The bad news is — you might be making the same mistake, too…I’ve been wasting 30 – 60 minutes online EVERYDAY before I complete my daily word.
Seriously, that’s a lot of wasted time. Too much. I don’t not have many client projects right now, so the blessing/curse is procrastination and I are becoming reacquainted…with my writing, washing the dishes, going to the grocery store., etc.
I’ve made considerable progress recently for more book time: unsubscribing from several worthy writing blogs because they gobble up my hours to write. I didn’t need to read posts on the craft. I needed to shut up, sit down and write.
Problem solved. Or, so I thought.
I’ve started clicking on random articles on MSN or Facebook before I settled down and produced. Here are few examples of my new lows (WARNING! Time-suck ahead):
* Watching Weird Al Yankovic’s Parody on Blurred Lines (funny, but it could’ve waited until later).
* Reading The Things I Did Not Need for My Trip Around the World (I have no such trip planned, but I thought, wow…someday)
* Taking a quiz called, How Old Do I Look? (It analyzed my profile pic and said I look 35; I’m 49. Forget my novel, that was worth it!)
One hour of such nonsense?
I don’t think so. I had a long talk with myself about priorities.
It did nothing. I ignored me. Well, I did cut my procrastination time down to just 20 minutes each day, so it was an improvement, but still.
My kids will be back in school on Monday (!), and I’ll get slammed with new contract work in September. There will be less time to goof off, or even write. I needed a solution now.
While journaling (writing!), I got an idea!
Take a Timeout
Before my writing session, I set my computer to an Online Clock for five minutes. I quickly checked my email and deleted all the junk, skimmed MSN.com for articles I wanted to read after my writing session (it gave me a reward to look forward to), ending with a quick scroll through Facebook.
At the end of my five minutes, the Online Clock made a HORRIBLE digital beeping sound, which reminded me of the watch I wore back in junior high, when I thought I was oh so cool to use a watch as my alarm clock (this was eons before cell phones existed).
That noise scared the bajeezus out of me and knocked me back to my senses. I turned it off and went straight to writing.
This simple act satisfied my hunger to be bad, while not letting me go off on an hour-long tangent. Who knows how long this will work? For now, I’m happy.
Old Habits Die Hard
Maybe you don’t goof off online like me. Maybe you watch TV, say you’re hungry (when you’re not) and binge eat, read yet another novel in the name of research for your book.
Indulge yourself in your favorite time-suck for five minutes, then get to work.
In theory, since I’m procrastinating less I could be writing even more, but I’m on a quest for balance. I’m using that extra time for other household chores or even fun interests, like reading.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes. It’s from a book I read years ago — Creating a Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd: “Your life is time. How you spend your time is how you live your life.”