An Hour at a Time is MY Time

When I’m really on a roll, I can get a lot of writing done in an hour. But where do I find the hour in the first place? They’re all over the place, like a kid’s lost marbles.

I saw a fun article about writing for an hour a day in this December’s issue of The Writer (and it’s only November!). While touting the rewards of a STEADY one‑hour per day, the author, Libby Cudmore, suggested 4 simple rules:

  1. “Guard your writing time like a dragon’s gold.” I suppose that makes ME the “dragon.” OK. I can breathe fire at anyone who tries to interrupt. Or, better still, put up a sign like “Writer at Work” or wear a special hat (your “thinking cap”) that warns family/friends off.
  2. “Develop a ritual” ‑‑‑ anything that says to your head “NOW is my writing time.” A specific piece of music, a relaxing beverage of choice, a zen moment’s time to adjust your brain to what you’re about to do: WRITE!
  3. NO EXTRANEOUS ELECTRONICS! ! ! “Seriously,” Libby says, “no Internet. Turn off your cell phone, too.”
  4. “Figure out your best time to write.” I’m a morning person. Someone who works full time, may write on his/her lunch “break.” Busy moms often find kids’ bed time is their writing time.

Whenever it is, ensure that you WRITE during that one hour. I am on a wonderful computer site called But, of course, you may write as long, or as many words as you want. I’ve mentioned it before: it’s free for a month. After that, $5 per month gets you onto the site which sends a daily (EARLY) reminder to write AT LEAST 750 words. You can set your own goal, both in word count and time. It saves your work ‑‑‑ no one else can access it ‑‑‑ pretty much in perpetuity. You can earn little on‑line “badges” for various achievements like starting, continuing for X‑number of days in a row, doing a NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) of 50 K in ANY month of the year, etc. It keeps your total, monthly and daily word counts and even analyzes what mood you were in as you wrote, which words you used most, etc., and you can see a timeline of when you were typing, when you took breaks, etc. I can generally pound out 750 words or even more in 20 minutes of concentrated writing ‑‑‑ often more. That could easily translate to 2,250 an hour, which could add 67,500 words a month.

So, what are YOU doing with one stray hour a day?