Writing in Blocks Can Help Keep You Focused

courtesy of Holger Zscheyge

By Jennifer Blanchard

It’s often difficult for writers to find large blocks of time where they can sit down and write. It also tends to be difficult to stay on-task for long periods of time.

That’s where block writing can be an extremely good method of getting writing done.

Here’s how block writing usually works:

  • Sit down and write for an allotted block of time (Usually ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes, depending on your schedule) without stopping (This means no surfing the Internet, no checking your e-mail and no walking away from your computer).
  • After the time you allotted is up, take a short break. This is also a good time to reward yourself for actually sitting down and writing. A reward can be anything from 30 minutes of TV time to an ice cream sundae to going for a walk. Whatever makes you feel rewarded.
  • Go back and write again for an allotted block of time. (A second block of writing time depends on your schedule, of course.)
  • Another method of block writing includes scheduling blocks of time throughout your day/week. So for example, maybe my schedule has me writing for 30 minutes at 11:30 a.m., for 30 minutes at 8:45 p.m., for 20 minutes tomorrow at 4 p.m. and 60 minutes on Thursday at 9 a.m.

Writing in blocks can make it easier to stay on task because you know that you only have to write for a short amount of time before you get to take a break (and get a reward!).

Block writing also works well for people with schedules that only allow them to have small blocks of time available for writing.

One Reply to “Writing in Blocks Can Help Keep You Focused”

  1. I use the first method you mentioned, with the Pomodoro technique. So it’s 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off (for stretching my legs, refreshing my drink, or something similar). After four Pomodoro sets I take a 15-30 minute break instead of a 5 minute break. But like you point out, you can set whatever time blocks work for you. That works well for me with my freelance work and blogging. For fiction I sometimes need longer blocks of writing time to make it work.

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