MusingsPersonalWritersWriting

Experimentation: Rapid Write

I’m big on experimentation.  Particularly when it comes to time management.  I’m all about squeezing in little bits of stuff here and there throughout the day since I very often don’t have large blocks of time to do stuff.  In my office at the Evil Day Job, I have a mini stair stepper.  My work calendar has timers set throughout the day so that I get a reminder at the beginning of every hour to go use it for 5 minutes.  When I bother to pay attention and DO it, it means I get 30 minutes of extra exercise in over the course of the day, and it gives me a bit of a break from the monotany of the work day.  I’m not always great about paying attention to the timers or remembering to open Outlook so they even pop up, and sometimes whatever I’m doing doesn’t permit me to stop right then, so I let it lapse.  If I get up for 3 of the 6 reminders, I consider it a good day.  After this weekend’s overindulgence on Cadbury eggs (mmm, chocolate goodness), I’m trying to be better about the other 3.

Anyway, long story short, I wanted to try to apply the same concept to writing.  Since I’ve moved back into writing prose from the long and involved plotting phase, I’ve had a hard time really fitting in my daily word count.  I don’t have the time at lunch that I used to, since I’m now using that to put myself through 30 minutes of hell (AKA Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred) everyday, and I’m really not conscious enough first thing to produce anything intelligible.  I do tend to keep my document open all day at work and pop into it from time to time if something occurs to me, but I had something a bit more structured in mind.  So I went through and set up reminders for the last 5 minutes of every hour during the work day for Rapid Write sessions.

The whole idea is that for 5 minutes I write whatever I can, no internal editor, just get the words down.  At the end of the day, I should have put in 35 minutes, which doesn’t at all sound like much, but if I can get in the unedited words or get the scene essentially blocked out, I’ll consider that a huge step toward making my daily goals.  The hard part will be to get Naomi off my ass.  (Yeah, I totally named my internal editor.)  I’ve never been all that great with just spontaneously spewing stuff out without her unwelcome input–at least not for any length of time.  I’ve been wondering if it’s a habit I can cultivate.  I figured it’s worth trying anyway.

With that in mind, I had time for 4 sessions yesterday afternoon, and I wound up with 574 words.  Not shabby for 20 minutes and more than I often get with over an HOUR of consecutive staring at the screen.  So definitely worth pursuing as a habit, I think.

Anybody want to try this with me?

2 thoughts on “Experimentation: Rapid Write

  1. I think that is a brilliant idea. Both the exercise and the writing. In my last job, everytime I needed the bathroom I made myself go to the one on the floor below – had not thought about doing that at this one, but I think I will. Yeah, I’m up for the writing. I’ve set myself a target of writing 6,000 words this month so that will really help 🙂

    1. It’s going remarkably well. I got in the full day (7 sessions for total 35 minutes) yesterday and churned out 837 words. I tend to get a couple of nights a week to myself while my husband is off doing things with the boys, so I figure if I can get the bulk of my words in (like the first pass) during these sort of microbursts, then I can clean it up and polish during those nights. I think it helps me that I’ve got a full outline this go round, so I’m not fishing for WHAT happens. It’s just a matter of getting it down.

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