I just spent thirty minutes writing, thanks to Jane Espenson. Espenson is a television writer and producer and author of the excellent writer’s blog Jane in Progress. (She doesn’t update so much anymore but you can still poke around the archives and there is some great stuff there, full of really specific and practical advice. She’s particularly great on the subject of what makes a joke work or fail, a topic I’m particularly nerdy about). Anyway, Jane frequently challenges her Twitter followers to 30-minute writing sprints, and if I possibly can, I always participate. I’m usually working on something (in this case a piece of fiction) and while I had worked on it earlier today, and thought about it some more, I had about resolved to put it away and come back to it tomorrow. But Jane said ‘sprint’ and I decided to do it. It’s that NaNo philosophy, which says that taking a few minutes to unplug and get something down is always a good thing, because now I have words that are probably slightly different than the ones I would have written if I had sat down at another time. Cool!

I wonder if other people have particular writing tricks that they rely on for something like that?

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