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How to write in short stints

1 Plan

Plan what you’re going to work on the day before.

When you sit down to write, you won’t waste any time deciding what to work on. More importantly, writing down your intentions will prime your unconscious to come up with ideas even before you begin.

2 Time

Image credit: Hannah Olinger, Unsplash

Set a timer and write flat out, like a horse out of its box.

This is freewriting. Write fast, without stopping to think or edit. You may have to throw away much of this writing. But you will also find that you explore the subject more freely and more deeply, you will get more words on the page, and that unexpected insights will surface. You can spend the next session revising this piece or using your fresh insights as springboards for further writing.

3 Note

Keep a notebook with you at all times.

You will find your mind turning to your material at quiet moments, and new thoughts tend to arise when you least expect them. If you have your notebook to hand, you can write them down in preparation for the next writing session. Even if you never use many of these observations, the act of writing down your thoughts will keep your project in the front of your mind and generate more ideas.

Using these methods, your short writing stints will become more productive, and the results will be cumulative.

Heather Dyer
19 November 2020

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