But he sold it to me as, “You can get a lot of writing done” and, in fact, I’m writing this from a beach in Montego Bay. If we were skiing, I would not be writing.
We flew down only for the weekend, but it was enough for me to write 8,000 words of Spin Sucks, get some sun, and be waited on hand and foot.
No laundry to do. No dog waking me up at 5 a.m. for breakfast. No meal planning. No grocery shopping. No fighting with traffic in and out of Whole Foods. No responsibilities, whatsoever. Just me, my laptop, some sunscreen, and a beach chair.
If you write, I highly recommend it. But you have to be motivated to get it done and not be easily distracted by all the booze you can drink and the swim-up bar at the infinity pool.
Tips for Writing Large Body of Works
So how did I manage? Following are some tips.
- Set a goal. My goal was to write 2,000 words per day (for a total of 6,000 words). If you already know what you’re going to write about, 2,000 words should take you no more than four hours. On Sunday, I actually got them done in less than two hours. But I ended up writing more than my goal on Saturday so I wrote for five hours.
- Turn off the distractions. While I wrote, I turned off my WiFi access. If I needed to do some research, I turned it back on, got what I needed, and turned it off again. My friend Ken Jacobs can tell you he knew when I needed a brain break because he found me commenting on Facebook (and called me out several times).
- Don’t drink too much. We’re at an all-inclusive, which means, yes, even the booze is “free.” I keep joking that Ernest Hemingway said, “Write drunk, edit sober.” But I am not a big drinker to begin with so I know I wouldn’t be able to focus on the task at hand if drunk.
- Reward yourself. Once I finished writing each day, I shut down my laptop (and access to the rest of the world) for the rest of the day. No worrying about work or my overflowing inbox or my task list was my reward.
- Read some, too. Reading always motivates me to write more. So I spent some time reading fiction (I know, big surprise). I also gave myself an hour each day to read a business book. I’m reading Andy Crestodina’s “Content Chemistry” right now.
Of course, flying to Jamaica for the weekend isn’t always possible if you’re writing a book. These tips work just as well at home (if you’re willing to take a weekend off from your other responsibilities).
You tell me. What works for you?