Drafting with the Timer Method


So, I’ve taught this a few times, and it’s not the first time I’ve talked about fast drafting, or drafting, but I wanted this small snip of fast drafting IN BRIEF.

FIRST – Do whatever you need to do to set the mood. Here are some ideas:

  1. Music playlists.
  2. Snacks.
  3. Re-read the last bits of what you wrote
  4. If you left yourself notes, look over those.
  5. Remember or ponder on WHY you wanted to write this book and what you want to say.

NEXT – Set a timer for 30-60 minutes (it’ll depend on YOU, and what stage of drafting (or revising) you’re at).

  1. Don’t stop. Leave yourself notes rather than research. Give yourself a placeholder like qqq to word search for later if you forget a name.
  2. Don’t check emails, go online, or answer your phone
  3. Write, write, write
  4. Don’t panic if the words aren’t coming. Just write yourself random notes and ideas on your story if the drafting just isn’t happening.

LAST – When your timer goes off, IF you’re still in the groove, keep on going! If you’ve been fighting for words, YAY! BREAK TIME!! If you can, leave yourself some notes as to what you’d like to write next. If you’re not sure, YAY! BREAK TIME!!

  1. Move your body. Anything from a good stretch, to just doing some random housework, to a full-on workout.
  2. While you’re moving, keep your brain in that book. Either think about the notes you left for yourself, or what you’d like to happen next.
  3. Go outside!
  4. When I had small kids at home, I’d only do this once or twice a day. As soon as that timer went off, my kiddos knew that it was time to do something fun with Mom.

SOCIAL MEDIA is not a “break” from writing – you’re on the computer, and you’re in the same position. You need time away from that screen. If you plan on setting another timer and writing again, I wouldn’t suggest reading either.

Set the mood.

Start your timer.

Begin again.

When I take the time to do this, I get more words down than at any other time. And of course, this won’t work for everyone. And like always, bonus points if you make this your own. HAPPY WRITING!!!

~ Jo

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Published by Jolene Perry

Hiker. Occasional Yogi. Equestrian. Couch potato. Music lover. Mediocre guitar player. Sailor. Tailor. Home body. Traveler. Enjoys suffering from being interested in everything. Co-founder and instructor at Waypoint Author Academy. Rep'd by Amy Bishop of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

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