I’ve been facing the perennial problem of keeping my word count up. When in doubt, buy an app. Last year I tried out Flowstate which deletes all your writing if you pause for more than five seconds. I wrote a lot of words, but it didn’t produce much that I could use, and the general experience was one of unnecessary anxiety. Good for a kick-start but not for making progress on a story.
I have run a couple of time management courses recently where people have mentioned the Pomodoro technique: work for twenty-five minutes, rest for five, at the end of four sessions rest for quarter of an hour. The technique is based on the kitchen timer shaped like a Pomodoro tomato. Each session is called a Pomodoro, but I am English and refuse to use silly names.
A couple of articles mentioned Focus Time, and as the ticking of an actual kitchen timer would drive me up the wall, I downloaded it. I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised. There’s just an alarm at the start and end of each session (and break). I find that I can comfortably finish 250 words during a session. It gives me the freedom to check references on the internet or notes from other pages. The website recommends recapping and reviewing as part of the session, and I have found it useful to pause occasionally to think about what I want to write next. The thought of the timer does get me started and bring me back quicker from drifting thoughts.
I have found myself getting into a state of flow quickly, even if I’m feeling a bit pessimistic at the start. There’s a reward star for each session completed and the overall stars are recorded on a simple table and graph. A sucker for a star chart, I was motivated to do an additional session this morning.
Another advantage is that if I’m on a work day, then I can usually complete a session or two before going which gives me a sense of achievement.
Link to the official website: https://cirillocompany.de/pages/pomodoro-technique