Pomodoros by Rosie Walsh

Tomato whiter.jpg

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method (the website explaining it all is here) and it's hands-down the most valuable writing tool I've ever learned. Taking it on board has completely transformed my working life. It's enabled me to cut my working hours by half, to get all of my other tasks done and - most importantly - it's brought a sense of real calm to my writing practice. Which is no small matter. 

Sometimes, when I tell people that I do it, they say, 'Oh, yeah, that thing where you work for twenty-five minutes and then take a five minute break? Yeah, I tried that.' The PT is so very much more than just a timer. If you want to give it a go, read everything you can find on the website, or, better still, buy the book. I think it's a bloody miracle. 


Get out by Rosie Walsh

Rosie Walsh at Ashton Court Bristol

The idea of holing myself up for an intensive day's writing used to make sense to me, but - as with so many things that I took to be the bread and butter of a writer's life - I've discovered that it's a waste of time. On days like that I would sometimes write a few more words than normal, but they'd be crap words and would always end up being deleted. I'd also finish those sorts of days feeling shaky and dizzy and would struggle to string a sentence together. My brain is not designed to generate non-stop creative content, and I doubt anyone else's is either. 

Nowadays, I'm, all about breaks. Taken outdoors.

Taking time to get outdoors somehow creates a whole load more writing time. I haven't a clue how or why this works, but it does. (It is also the best way I know to solve plot problems.)

I'll go for a walk; a run; a cycle up the nearest hill. Even if I've got a cold, and it's winter, and I want to rot in my fuggy, germ-filled bed, I take a chair and a blanket outside and I'll sit, watching the birds, smelling the air, feeling like a human in the world, as opposed to a mad writer in a room. 

Take a dog; don't take a dog. Go rural, go urban. Just get out of your house and get moving.