Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ways to Up Your Productivity

One of my favorite writing quotes is "Writers WRITE." I know for me, the simplest part, can be the hardest. I actually have some writing time and yet I can find so many ways to distract myself from actually writing.

Here are a few of the things I've found helpful in keeping my focus on writing.

LeechBlock - This may be one of the best things on the internet! LeechBlock is a Firefox add-on that allows you to block certain sites during the days and times you choose. I set mine to block me from the sites that suck away the most of my time, (Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter) starting at 10:30am Monday - Friday. What's great is that even if I'm on Twitter at 10:29am, when the clock hits 10:30, LeechBlock shuts it down and tells me to come back later when I'm allowed. I can't tell you how much random surfing it's stopped.

Write or Die - Write or Die is this awesome little application that allows you to set a time and word goal, and then MAKES you keep it! Depending on your settings, if you pause for too long while typing Write or Die will make annoying noises, or ERASE YOUR TEXT until you start typing again. I had been using this online for a while (it's free!) but during NaNoWriMo I sprang for the desktop edition ($10 - works on Mac and PC) which lets you choose your noises, and things like the color of your background and text. I usually set mine at 1000 words in 40 minutes and because of the way it blinks red at me before the sounds start, I usually finish my 1000 words about 10-15 minutes early! It's a really great tool for getting out that first draft because it forces you to stop overthinking and just keep writing.

There are also a couple of great organizers that allow you to keep all the parts of your novel (notes, images, scenes that don't have a place yet) together in one place. These can be a great timesaver because you don't have to go searching for things, or move into another program for something. This can be especially helpful during revisions.

Their websites can do a much better job telling you about them than I can, so check them out! I have Liquid Story Binder XE but haven't had a chance to play around with it. I'm planning to really dive into it when I start revising next week.

For Mac

For PC
Liquid Story Binder XE

What are your favorite time-savers?


  1. I'm an organization nerd so I'm definitely going to check out those sites! The Write or Die thing sounds, well, scary. I don't want to die - especially not before I finish revisions :) Great post, Valerie!

  2. "Write or Die" does sound scary. I'd never heard of any of those, Valerie. Thanks! I'm checking out the Liquid Story Binder thing now. Might save me time flipping between documents.

  3. I never user Write or Die on the delete setting, just the one that makes the annoying sounds. I really find it helpful in keeping me focused. It's easy to stay writing if I know I only have to do it for so many more minutes or so many more words.

  4. I'd never heard of LeechBlock before, but I could certainly use it! Thanks for the tips.

  5. I love scrivener but had not heard of these. Love the write or die one. Thats going to be my motto for the year now :)


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