How the Pomodoro Technique Helped me Write 2000 Words


Hot of the back of yesterdays post on distraction and fear being the enemy of all art, I have put some of my previously mentioned techniques into practice today.

I woke up this morning the fuzz from last nights writing breakthrough cleared.

I had one item on my agenda today.

Write my book.

It has been over a month since I had looked at my poor dejected novel. Anyone who has written longer than a 3000 word short story will be familiar with loosing track of where your story is at, where your characters are in place and mind.

The general advice is not to reread but to bash on and hammer out as many words, no matter how shitty they are, and edit later. But, I had no idea where my characters were going. I had to reread my last chapter and review my notes.

I decided this morning to give the Pomodoro Technique a go. I had tried it previously at my work and it didn’t serve me well. There were far too many interruptions from others to utilise my set time, the buzzer was ringing before I knew it. Today however, I have been child free and a day off work. No distractions (apart from the glorious sunshine 35 bloody degrees in Scotland, WOW) and the whole 10.30am–3pm to write.

I was determined to make the most of this precious time.

I allowed myself the first 30 minutes to catch up then it was serious writing time.

45 minutes of writing; a 15 minute break with sunshine reward.

With the alarm on my phone set and all other notifications on silent, I was set.

First 45 minutes I typed 738 words, pleased I headed out into the sunshine for my 15 minute break.

Second 45 minutes produced a not too shabby 689 words,

Third and final 45 minutes I gleaned 668 words.

That is a grand total of 2108 in a 3 hour block.

I have to say I am quite pleased with the results.

What had changed from the previous month I had written about yesterday? The distraction drought I have now named it.

Organisation of task and clear set objectives.

I focused on one task, gave myself a set period of time to work, set an alarm and stuck to it.

Why I like the Pomodoro technique

Apart from the fact that I achieved the goal I set out to achieve in the time given (I had 2000 words in mind and hit 2100), during my set ‘breaks’ of 15 minutes I managed to sit in the sun, have my lunch or a snack, make a cup of tea, go to the loo and even plot the next chapter I would write when I sat down. I was busy eating my sandwich and my mind was plotting away, percolating ideas until I could get back to my desk.

All the distractions that usually pull you from your work; toilet breaks, snack time, thirst they are all redundant. You have a set time to do them, and achieve your goals in the remaining 45 minutes.

This worked for me today and I hope it works for me again tomorrow.

If not, hey it got me 2100 words closer to the end of my novel and a wee blog post too.

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Ashley Rose

Writer of dark crime fiction and positive psychology and wellbeing articles. I’m a walking juxtaposition.