I know writers who wander around waiting to trip over their muse before they actually write. I have a book due the end of next week. When you have a deadline, you have to write. Period. You can’t wait for Ms. Muse to make an appearance. Here are three different ways to make the writing happen.
- The Pomodoro technique. This a productivity tool that can be used by anyone who has a big job to get done. You work for 25 minutes then take a five-minute break. Work for another 25 minutes, take another 5 minute break. Work for another 25 minutes and take another 5 minute break. Then you work for one more 25 minute period and then you get a longer break, 20 to 30 minutes.The Pomodoro technique works really well for me. I think that a big part of it is simply knowing that I only have 25 minutes to get something accomplished. Click to find out more about the Pomodoro technique.
- Dictate your story. One writing buddy of mine dictates her work using Dragon. I’ve heard various writers say that this is a great way to develop your voice and improve the dialogue in your stories. I plan to give this a try when I draft my novel. But I don’t think it will work with the teen nonfiction book I am currently writing. For one thing, I can’t imagine trying to say all of those Latin taxonomical names.A word of warning. Dictation software isn’t 100% accurate but dictation is a major pain in the rear. Once you get really good at transcription you can usually type 30 minutes of dictation in 90 or so minutes. More often it will take closer to three hours. Doesn’t that sound like fun? This is why I plan to give Dragon a try.
- Writing out-of-order. You can also write scenes or chapters out-of-order. If something is giving you trouble, skip to another section. I do this with nonfiction more often than I do it with fiction. When I finish one chapter and have just a small amount of time to work on the next, I often write the sidebars first. They are short so I can get two or three done and feel a sense of accomplishment.
If you have a technique that helps you keep the words flowing, share it in the comments below.