Showing posts with label self-discipline. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-discipline. Show all posts

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Pomodoro Technique for Getting Your Writing Done


I recently heard of the Pomodoro Technique--something I've done off and on for years, more or less, without having a name for it.

Here's what I love about it:  the name.  It comes from those old kitchen timers that look like tomatoes.  Tomato, in Italian, is pomodoro.  So basically, it's a fancified name for a simple but efficient work strategy.

How to use the Pomodoro Technique:

First, get a kitchen timer (or an internet timer or a fancy Pomodoro App on your phone).

Set it for 25 minutes.

Write until the timer beeps.

Take a five minute break:  walk around, play a quick round of a game, get some water, stretch, pet your cat, etc.

Repeat.

It's remarkably effective, and can be used for many tasks, not just writing.  Plus, it's got a great name.


Melinda Brasher's most recent sale is a twist on Rumpelstiltskin, appearing in Timeless Tales. You can also find her fiction in NousElectric SpecIntergalactic Medicine Show, and others. If you're dreaming about traveling to Alaska, check out her guide book, Cruising Alaska on a Budget; a Cruise and Port Guide. Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com

Friday, May 27, 2016

Writing - Ways to Cultivate Solitude

Contributed by Irene S. Roth

Silence and solitude are the two spiritual disciplines that seem to be most lacking in our digital world. It is ironic that what our soul longs for is silence and solitude, but instead we fill our lives with noise and activity to pack the void.

And writers especially need some quiet time to regroup and to rest. It can be hard to rest when we are always plugged in. So, we need to cultivate times when we are resting and alone doing something that we truly enjoy that we know will renew us.

The silence that is required for solitude has gotten a bad rap. Most of us hate silence. But it is in the silence that we can find renewal and fulfillment, and we could be ready to face whatever else we have to face every day.

Silence is about letting go of our inner distractions and is probably the most challenging and least experienced spiritual discipline among most of us today. Studies show the average person today can only bear about fifteen seconds of silence. Each of us needs to make the opportunity to be alone and silent to find some space in the day to reflect, and to listen to our inner voice within us.

Solitude is about letting go of your outer distractions. It is in solitude that we nourish our relationship with ourselves.

Here’s some practical ways to start cultivating these disciplines in your life:

•    Turn off the radio when you are driving.
•    Keep the television off when you’re not watching it.
•    Practice listening more to others and speaking less yourself.
•    Resist the urge to text and post every experience. Hold the experience to yourself for a while.
•    Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock – make a “no phones go to bed with me” rule.
•    Listen for the sounds of nature whenever you can.
•    Try to keep one ear tuned to your inner voice throughout your noisy day.

So, go ahead and take time to find space to be alone and silent each day. Don’t let the digital world drown out the sound of your voice speaking to you. To really live life to the fullest we must not let the digital world distract us from being who we truly are.

We need to take control of our lives by setting clear boundaries. Embrace this one life that we were given by learning to say “no” more to your digital world and say “yes” to the importance of soul care for yourself and your family. And tomorrow, you will probably do your best writing too. It is a win-win for everyone.

To learn more about cultivating solitude, double click on this link: Healthy Writer

Irene S. Roth, MA writes for teens, tweens, and kids about self-empowerment. She is the author of over thirty-five books and over five hundred online articles. She also writes articles for kids, tweens and teens and her articles have appeared in Encounter, Pockets, Guardian Angel Kids Ezine, and Stories for Children Magazine and Online. She also has four hundred and sixty published book reviews both online and in print.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Four Tips to Keep Your Writing Momentum

Writers can have a difficult time maintaining momentum. Many writers seem to write in fits and spurts. They may write consistently for a month or two, and then their inspiration towards their manuscripts seems to dwindle and they don’t get to their desks for weeks or months. It seems that something always gets in the way of their writing. Before we know it, months have gone by and we have not done any writing on our WIP. 

    This is quite common for many beginning and intermediate writers. It is also common for writers who work full time and have so many other things to do every day such as family, kids, caring for parents, and other issues. There always seems to be something that bulldozes their intention to get to their desks to write.

    One of the most important things that we have to remember is that unless we get to our desks to write every day or most days, we won’t be as productive and therefore we won’t be successful in our writing careers. Not only that, but we will also be frustrated because we can’t seem to manage our writing life effectively.

    In what follows, I will offer you a few tips, that when followed will ensure that you keep your momentum on your writing project until it is complete.

Writing–of any kind–takes great commitment and self-discipline, and there may be times when you find it difficult to carve out the hours you need or to find the energy to devote to your writing. Here are some suggestions to keep you moving forward:

1.    Write every day

There is no more important piece advice that any writer can give another writer than to show up to your desk and actually do some writing every day. Think in terms of output rather than time–set your goal at one page a day instead of one hour a day. That way, you have concrete evidence of your progress.

2.    Set aside a particular time of day (or night) to write

In order to create writing momentum, writers must make it a habit. Like any other learned skill, writing requires practice. We learn by doing. If we schedule our writing time–the way we would a piano lesson or a work-out at the gym–we’re giving our writing the priority it deserves.

3.    Stretch your 24-hour day

It can be hard to always find time to write. There are always a thousand other things that need to be done. The fact is you probably won’t find the time to write unless you make time for it.  Here are a few tips:

•    Get up an hour early, set the coffee maker and get right to work.
•    Resist the urge to take a nap when you put the baby down.
•    Shut your office door and write through your lunch hour.
•    Decide that an hour of writing time is more important than an hour of television.

4.    If you can’t write, think instead

Thinking is an important part of the writing process. If you’ve established your regular daily writing time, as we suggested above, make the most of that time by preparing yourself mentally beforehand. Start thinking about your manuscript a few hours before you sit down at your computer, so that you’re ready to write when you get to your desk. Even if you can’t set aside time to write every day, you should at least make thinking about writing a daily activity. By thinking about writing even when you aren’t doing it, you’ll make writing a natural and necessary part of your life.

By taking these steps, you will be gaining momentum in your writing career.  There is no better way to ensure that you develop the self-discipline to write and get to your desk regularly. Not only will you build self-confidence, but you will also build on your skills as a writer and get a lot of writing done.

For a lot more tips on how to be a healthy writer, double click on this link: Healthy Writer.

About the Author

Irene S. Roth, MA writes for teens, tweens, and kids about self-empowerment. She is the author of over thirty books and over five hundred online articles. She also writes articles for kids, tweens and teens and her articles have appeared in Encounter, Pockets, Guardian Angel Kids Ezine, and Stories for Children Magazine and Online. She also has four hundred and sixty published book reviews both online and in print.

MORE ON WRITING

More ABCs for New Writers
Online Editors
Self-Publishing – 3 Tips to Help You Avoid the ‘I Want It Now Syndrome’



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