For most of last year, I was a distracted mess--after I released "When Mary Left" (now or soon-to-be available over on your friendly neighborhood Kobo, B&N, iBooks, and Smashwords, btw), I tried to go back to the novel and couldn't. I planned a few short stories and only finished one.
Well, I was--and am--determined that this year will not the same. But I wasn't totally sure how I was going to combat Shiny Internet-itis without resorting to turning off the Internet every single time I wanted to write, which impedes valid things like quick Googling and referencing research.
And then the answer came to me via Jess, my friend and copyeditor of my two released works. She wrote a post for Blood Red Pencil: The Pomodoro Technique and Productive Writing Time. Go read it if you have a sec.
The gist is: there's a productive technique called the Pomodoro method, where you set a timer for about twenty-five minutes and then proceed to do your task in single-minded fervor. At the end of the twenty-five minutes, you take a five minute break. After your short break, set the timer again for another twenty-five.
It sounded do-able and it made sense to me---25 minutes of writing or researching or whatever, then five minutes to go do the dishes or take out the garbage or check Facebook.
In the comments to Jess's post, someone mentioned a free Pomodoro app in the App Store, which I duly downloaded and began using.
Well, it's been a week on this method and the two projects I'm alternating between, the Victorian novel and this novella-ish thing called The New Bride of Banner's Edge, are growing slowly but surely. The Victorians are a proper mess of a first draft, but it's progressing; I'm a little above 52,000 words there. The other story is moving into its next "chapter" as well.
For most of the week, I've only managed one Pomodoro--one 25 minute writing session a day, which sounds like so little, but I'm actually seeing progress. I'm excited to do my 25 minutes a day because I know that I'm getting shit done during that time and if I have the time, I'll take a 5 minute break and go for another 25 minutes.