Hpw to finish your book on time. (A guide) :-)

(1) Use Scrivener. Anything else will cause you to miss your deadline. :slight_smile:
(2) Make sure you have plenty of basic necessities on hand at all time (Beer, wine, coffee, soda, tea, cheese puffs, snacks, munchies, etc.)
(3) Disconnect yourself from the internet. Procrastination starts with checking forums and news pages. :slight_smile:
(4) If you have a better half living with you make sure your better half is appeased and happy before starting.
(5) Do not set limits. Only set goals. Limits limit you. Goals are achievements.
(6) Before starting BACKUP your project.
(7) Do not leave clocks, watches, or any time keeping devices in easy sight. These will distract you.
(8 ) Write first. Edit later. Doing both during one session will bog you down.
(9) Don’t write “filler”. If it is not exactly what you want rethink your approach. It is easier to take the time to think something through than it is to have to search large bodies for rewriting.
(10) Comfortable Chair and proper lighting make a world of difference.
(11) Take breaks.
(12) Don’t write when you are really tired.
(13) Stay excited about your project. Enthusiasm is contagious.
(14) Look at your schedule before setting your goals. WIth your schedule your goals may increase of decrease. Be flexible.
(15) At least once a week make a copy of your project ad store it on another disk. If your Hard Drive fails it is better to lose a week’s worth of work than ALL of your work.

I would continue but I have realized I have violated number 3. disconnecting now…
:slight_smile:

Very good advice.
And even though I too violated # 3, I’m glad I regulary check this forum. I’ve never before found so many cool tips, good advice and humorous ramblings as in this place.

Magnus

I am sorry but I do not understand. What is this “finish your book on time” of which you speak?

dont worry about it. Its just another way of saying: Finish inky moo or be out.

I seeyou hvae folowed #8 punctiliously, in titling thsi post!

I ordered hooked on phonetics but it came COD and I was 26 cents short :slight_smile:

Thanks, Wock. #3 is my downfall… :blush:

Love #5.

On #11, I’ve had excellent results with a little trick I picked up from the Productivity Gang. That is, working on a one-hour cycle with a 12 minute break. Work 48 minutes, then set a timer for 12 minutes and leave the desk. Go walking; stare out a window; make some tea. It’s okay to let yourself think, but don’t do anything with it, just let your brain run if it has to. I find this pattern keeps you alert much longer, and introduces a cycle where your sub-conscious is allowed to rampage for a bit. I get more of my ideas in those 12 minutes than in the 48 minutes of working. Using a little timer like Minuteur that you can hide away (because I agree with hiding time-keeping devices as well), works perfect. It might feel weird at first, because 48 minutes isn’t enough to deplete your mental energy—but that is the point. :slight_smile: You’ll feel silly taking a break that early, but doing so keeps your brain running at a creative and productive clip for a lot longer than just working until you are tired and then taking a break.

Something to try, anyway!

Minimalist approach: Write. Sleep. Repeat. :wink:

I sometimes do the work-rest-work-rest timed thing, too, when I have a marathon session to get through (I also learnt it from The Productivity Gang :wink: ). It does sound weird, but Amber’s right, it can make a big difference.

Also, it still works even if you alter the times - I sometimes change it to 20 minutes work, 10 minutes rest when writing comics, for example, which is enough to easily write two complete pages. It sounds like you’re slacking off - what, you take 20 minutes off every hour?! - but because you allow yourself the rest periods, you’re more focused during the work periods, and so can get more done (and work for longer in total). It really does work.

They put the clocks forward. A whole HOUR. I needed that hour. That was the hour I was going to do all the good stuff in.

Oh well. I can always get a job in British Airways, at Terminal 5.

Sorry, Michael, your job interview has been delayed by three days.

Doing what? :open_mouth:

antony quothed

That,s quick!

I love #9, “don’t write filler”.

One of the procrastination excuses I’ve always made was, ‘well I better check my e-mail because I’m not ready to write and otherwise I will just stare at a blank screen which is the same as procrastinating’ but actually you are now saying that it’s better to just sit and wait for the thing you want to say (without editing) and then put it in, rather than filler. This is revolutionary! THANKS for all of the points, but esp for #9!!! Love it.

It’s OK to just stare at the screen.

Why not just sit down and write the damn story!?!?!?

…me, who handed in my first book draft EXACTLY 1 year late… :slight_smile:

Good advice - from my past two years of writing a biography, #14 is my biggest lesson…

pogo