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Tricks of Tracking: #1 Track the Right Stuff


How do you measure your writing progress: Word counts? Critical due dates? Action steps taken? I track Product Time, that is, the amount of time I spend doing anything necessary to move a writing project forward. Here’s why. For a week, I’ve been revising and reworking Chapter 61 in my novel. The daily word counts […]

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Even If You Don’t Write Everyday, You Need to Track Everyday


Even if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, you don’t have to write every day. But, NaNo or not, you need to track your writing progress everyday. Even the days you don’t show up. Especially the days you don’t show up. Note to NaNoWriMo writers: I know the suggestion that you don’t have to write 1,667 words every […]

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If It Works for Stephen King, Shouldn’t It Work for Me?


Writers often look to famous authors for role models. We assume that whatever routine works (or worked) for a famous writer should work for every writer. If Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day, 365 days a year, every writer should write 2,000 words a day, 365 days a year. The problem is that what […]

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Deep Work, Deep Play: Writers Need Both


For writers, extended time without distractions and competing priorities is a pleasurable necessity; without it we cannot enter the writer’s trance, aka creative flow. We want and need what Cal Newport defines as Deep Work: “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit.” In Deep Work: […]

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How Hemingway Made ‘Attention Residue’ Work for Writing


Ernest Hemingway certainly never heard the term “attention residue,” but he knew how to make the phenomena work in favor of his writing. You can, too. In case you didn’t read the previous post, “Don’t Let ‘Attention Residue’ Derail Your Writing,” and haven’t heard of “attention residue” either, it’s what distracts you when you sit […]

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This is a stock photo. I wish I looked this good when I'm sick.

PTO – Back Next Week


In case you’re wondering what happened to this week’s post, Let Attention Residue Work for Your Writing, it’s still in progress. As soon as my swollen and over-active sinuses stop strangling my brain and the sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy head, fever, so I can’t think virus is done with me, I’ll be able to […]

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Don’t Let ‘Attention Residue’ Derail Your Writing


NOTE: I apologize if the timing of this post dismayed or offended anyone — I scheduled it to post on September 29 before leaving town and internet connections behind. It was only co-incidence that it appeared the same day as the horrible train crash in Hoboken, NJ. Imagine you’re the engineer of a long train […]

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Why Writers Should Schedule Distractions


Scheduling distractions? Seems like an oxymoron. In a previous post, I encouraged you to reserve time for your writing. Imagine my surprise when I read Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, recommend that instead of scheduling time for focused work, like writing, we benefit more from scheduling […]

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My Name is Rosanne, I’m a Writer and Distraction Addict


Two weeks ago, Claudia and I drove to a vacation cabin near Grand Rapids. We arrived in late afternoon, got settled in and listened to the loons as the sun set. The next morning, I slept in. We enjoyed breakfast on the deck and walked the dogs. I read a bit. I flipped through magazines. […]

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Does Your Writing Have a Reservation?


“Writing reservations” could mean reservations about writing (aka resistance) or it could refer to the time you reserve for your writing. How can you get a reservation for a relaxed writing experience at a fine writing table without freaking yourself out about how big and significant the reserved time is? Because if you don’t define […]

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