Tag Archives: write or die

It’s about Focus

This morning I received an email from a friend – one of those informational emails that link you to an article or blog – this one was about increasing productivity.

I no longer work in an office so many of the things that Lisa Barone included in her “11 things” don’t apply. But I am glad she loves her egg timer – I love mine too and Write or Die.

The one thing she said that made me wistful was not checking her email all the time – once at lunch, and then again before dinner. I didn’t think I could do that… Then I happened to flip over to an article about a bunch of neuroscientist discussing the brain, computers, technology, and vacations.

Something hit me – there is something called working memory. It is a very important and valuable thing – and it appears to be overtaxed a lot of the time leaving us inattentive and unfocused. There is even some who think that working memory space is taken up with expecting email. Not getting it, reading it, or responding to it. Expecting it!!!

So, I turned my email off.

Then I had to turn it on to get the article by Lisa Barone.

Then I turned it off again.

Don’t know if I can do twice a day – but I do know that I can turn if off while I’m writing and turn it back on when I’m taking a break.

~ Tess


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Dr Wicked’s Podcast – Dark Lullabies for Strange Children

This is a blatant sales pitch for everyone to go listen to the Podcast for “Dark Lullabies for Strange Children” at http://www.writeordie.drwicked.com/

My poem, “Night of the Blindfolded Moon” is included. So, go, listen and have fun.

This also gets me out of having to write a post today… right? Sometimes my head gets so full of information and ideas I spin around all day not knowing what to work on next. I often have to go bury myself in a book just to get the noise inside my head to shut off. I’m in one of those places now. Can’t you tell?

But a bit about “Write or Die” – might as well since I’m here.

If you are at the site you will find people tweeting about how many words they wrote in X minutes. Just because you wrote the words doesn’t mean the words were any good. But the funny thing is, they often are.

I write every day and yet sometimes I’m either bored with myself, or pushing at an idea that just won’t seem to budge. When I feel like that I do timed writing exercises. They work well. In fact some of my best stories have come out of that crazy, no holds barred, writing.

With Write or Die I get the extra push that if I slow down the screen color starts changing from pink to red. So I keep going, no matter what, no matter how bad, good, or truly awful it is. (Like I said – sales pitch *grin*)

Because at the end of the day, writers write!    

~ Tess

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Fighting the Muse

I’m fighting with my Muse.

The Muses dancing with Apollo, by Baldassare Peruzzi (source: Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve been fighting with her for several weeks now. There is project due at the end of January and as hard as I try to be disciplined about it I just can’t seem to make any progress. This usually happens when I’m writing on a theme and can’t come up with a marketable idea. That was the last one of these projects – great ideas – all of them completely wrong for the publisher.

This time, the idea isn’t the problem. The idea is sound. I have the characters, the plot, everything. I have notes and outlines – what I don’t have is words. I started writing last month, wrote the beginning, realized that I needed to make the plot move faster in the first few pages, figured out what was wrong and then just stalled.

Nothing… for days… weeks…

So today I decided to play with Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die application. I’m not really a competitive person but every now and again something comes along that amuses me and make me not want to lose. I know that when I have to I can write and write and write. It might be junk but I can always put words on paper.

The app feeds into that vanity.

So – this morning I started, using Write or Die to help me tease out my Muse and get this project moving. Like an infusion of caffeine in the morning it is making my little gray cell hop to it.

Which worked!

I wrote something mostly crap but it was crap that was headed the right direction.

The point of freewriting, timed writing, and Write or Die is to quiet the judges in our heads. Kill the critics that are tearing apart every sentence, work, and thought. To go to that place where the magic happens, and the ideas flow from brain to hands without any filters.

It’s funny – every story is different and the path of how the story is written is unique. I never seem to be able to find a process and repeat it. Someday I may figure out how to do this job – but where would be the fun in that?

~ Tess Anderson

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