“Shut up and write.” It’s a good exhortation, though the non-violent communication crowd will probably wince a bit at the tone.
On Friday (November 28th) about 15 of us shut up and wrote. It worked like this;
We gathered in a room with our laptops and plenty of power sockets.
Off with the mobiles (not on silent, not on vibrate – OFF). Off with the wifi. We wrote down our writing goals (in other versions – with fewer people), you announce ‘em.
A timer at the front of the room was ostentatiously started by the organiser.
We wrote for 25 minutes.
We were then encouraged to take a 5 minute break (unless totally In The Zone; but in any case, keep it quiet etc).
We wrote for another 25 minutes.
Then there was a longer – louder – break of 20 minutes. With coffee.
Then two more batches of 25 minutes of writing with the same 5 minute break between.
This is an example of the pomodoro (tomato – as in slicing) approach.
Personally, it was bloody brilliant. I whipped through a lot of stuff that the cat, the Facebook, the access to multiple distractions, would have otherwise dragged out. The engineered tacit social pressure was superb.
The only question is – why isn’t every day “shut up and write” day? With a bit of (self)-discipline, surely this is the way to run your life/career etc?