The Science of Timing Eggs.

In an effort to make that productiveness I’ve been swearing to bring about a reality, I’ve decided to buckle down and give a new method a try. Well, old to some, but new to me.

I tested out the Egg Timer Method, because it seemed like Octopractical and Chuck Palahniuk, as well as all the rest engaging in the practice, can’t be wrong. Or maybe they are, and someone’s playing a really weird trick.

I like to think the former’s how it is, and I’ll stick with that if it’s all the same to you.

Anyway, with no real thought to too much preparation, I fired up the laptop and grabbed my cellphone. Granted it might be more strongly symbolic to have an egg timer, but unfortunately I don’t own one, so I just made due.

After setting the timer for fifteen minutes, I found myself drawing a blank. Of course.

About fifteen seconds later, I remembered an old idea I’d had for a short story, and I was off.

Three minutes after that, I was deleting everything I’d written because I didn’t like it.

From here on out, I’m going to start calling this Doing the Condensed NaNoWriMo. That’s really what it is, isn’t it? Granted there’s no word limit, but it’s seeing how much you can get out in a set time period. Which has struck me as the gist of the month long event. Or part of it, anyway.

For a neurotic soul like myself, this can turn into an oddly tense practice really quick. I began typing faster with little real thought to self editing, just beating the clock to some sort of goal I wasn’t even sure existed. By the time the alarm went off (the Doctor Who theme, and hell yes, that is what I wake up to every morning), I’d gotten under two pages done.

It probably would’ve been more were it not for all those stop and starts, since I do actually type faster than this has made it sound. But while these time wasters were little, they were still numerous; typo editing, rethinking, rewording, ‘WHYAMIDOINGTHIS?!’-ing, and several other -ings that will go unnamed here.

I will say that I may obtain a real live egg timer just to see if it makes any kind of difference. The cellphone is an evil wee terrorist beastie (that’s right, I’ve worked Doctor Who into this twice now), especially my Blackberry, with its little flashing LED light that lets me know when a text or an e-mail has popped in. What’s more, thanks to this lovely little free app, it’s color coded. So I know if the Diabolical Texter/Deranged E-Mail Writer is someone I’d just have to respond to immediately, or if it’s just some schmuck who can wait a minute.

And even if I put it out of my sight, I know I could be laying there. Blinking. Over. And over.

Really, the lack of internet connection’s made it that much worse.

So it’s a real live egg timer when possible. And maybe some tea next time. Or I’ll take another page out of Octopractical’s book and get myself a shot of Jack Daniels or three. It’s not Maker’s Mark, but I love it just the same.

(I’m kidding, of course. It’s all about the tea.)

Above all else, I may just make use of it when I’m looking to jumpstart myself into vomiting out some ideas. That sense of writing almost uninhibited, with no goal except to put words down on the page, was an interesting feeling.

Of course, now it’s only a matter of time before I start screwing with it. As in; can I finish a story in fifteen minutes? If not, how many fifteen mincrements will it take before I finish? What about a half an hour? What about sitting down with a genre in mind, and nothing else?

See the lengths I’ll go to in order to amuse myself?

But hey, it’s trying something new.

Also, I’d like to point out that if you look to the little calendar in the upper righthand, I’m breaking my second week and moving into the third of at least one post per day. It’s not a perfect process, but considering my writing woes, I’m pleased with me.

Yay for new things working!


~ by Sara on November 28, 2011.

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