I started running backward word sprints a while ago. I’m not sure what else to call it. I set a timer, and focus, and then, when my attention wanders, I hit the timer, and write down how long I’ve been at it. The timer goes up instead of down, and the goal is minutes of focus instead of words. (I’m revising, so words would be a little tough.)
I wound up with 32 minutes and 52 seconds over my lunch hour, which is as coherent a chunk of time as I’ve ever managed to come up with.
It also leaves me with the feeling that I’m getting something done.
Trackable, concrete progress.
Something to write down in my notebook to prove I’m not just sitting around breathing air.
A lot of the time, I do feel like I’m just lollygagging around. I write–but is there progress? Am I any closer to where I want to be than I was, when I sat down?
When I’m writing, I have words to log. Yes, moving toward a finished draft. But revising? I’ve never really gotten the hang of that. I have a process, of course. It’s a good process. (I bought it off a stranger on the internet, and it’s turned out to be one of the best purchases I ever made.) But that new-words feeling? Well, that’s just for new words.
One of my characters did something really out there, today. I don’t know what corner of my subconscious that came from, but he wound up punching another character. One I had considered sacrosanct. Guess not.
And I’ve reached the point that I’m rejoicing over words cut. Hey, that means I have space for my characters to punch each other in. (Yes, I’m down to the dangerous end of too many words.)