I’m probably a little bit late to the party, but I heard about a little thing called burst writing that I thought I’d share.
Burst writing is this wonderful technique: You set an alarm clock for everything from 15 minutes to like an hour. As soon as the countdown begins, you just start writing. Whatever, wherever, however. You can’t take your fingers off the keyboard until the clock says stop.
I’ve got a rambunctious 16 month old and two equally feisty cats that take up every waking moment of my personal time. So whatever time I have to spend writing is spent scooping poop, picking up cat hair, potty training, and following the kids around with a dust pan and broom as I clean up the wreckage from the tornado they inflict on my house in their daily life.
But I don’t need an alarm clock. You see, I have one that’s much louder and much more urgent. It’s called nap time is over.
Previously, I used to take that wonderful hour and bask in the solace of silence. It was daddy’s time to eat lunch and sit on the couch reflecting on everything we think about over the course of the day. It was a time I learned to finally shut up and appreciate.
If you can turn the white noise of your brain off and focus the waves to instead awake your inner creative, well, then that’s time well spent.
And it’s not time you didn’t have before. It’s always been there. I just wish I didn’t wait 10 months to figure it out.
It finally clicked in my head maybe two weeks ago. I’ve been spending the past few months living out the whole “woe is me” thing. There’s no room, there’s no time, there’s no yadayadayada…
The only recurring theme in there was the word “NO.”
And that’s not a nice word. Just ask my kid. She doesn’t like hearing it, but she lo-oves saying it.
And apparently so do I. It’s what I’ve been telling myself probably since November. So, I started giving in and working around my schedule. On the first night I gave it a shot, I popped out 1200 words in one sitting. That was 1200 more than I’ve had in so long. And you know what? It felt great.
So, today I one-upp’d myself. I finished a chapter.
Sure, I only had two scenes to write. But, still. I -finished- a chapter!
This is huge news for me. Because it woke something up inside that I thought I lost somewhere over the rainbow. It led me onto other writing related tasks that I’ve pretty much been putting off forever. Things like finishing my writing, working on my 3d modeling, redesigning covers, burning excerpts, so forth and so on..
And I’m doing it all in burst time.
Who’d have thought that this whole thing only required me to put her to bed.
On a good day, I get two bursts per day while the baby’s napping. On a really good day, I get two naps, early bed time, and then my bed time.
All I really needed to do was figure out how to manage my time better. Maybe that’s all it takes you.
Give yourself a time management exercise…
Take an hour out of your day. Not when you’re at work. You know, the time when you’re home waiting for dinner, or when the laundry is cycling.
Figure out what you do with that time.
It just might be that time could be applied to something else.
I’ll rest when I’m dead.
For now, I’ve got books to write and webpages to finish. =)