Do you have something you’re supposed to get written? Do you need to write a letter, blog post, novel, screenplay, business plan? Does life keep getting in the way? How in the heck, with family, job, money, work do we find the time, and the cognitive surplus to write?
Prepare to be amazed. I’m about to show you one of the best tricks for getting your writing done no matter how busy you are.
Under water? Overwhelmed? Doesn’t matter. If you honestly apply this technique, you’ll be knocking those pesky writing projects off your to-do list lickity split.
This technique, developed by one of my favorite copywriters Eugene Schwartz, hinges on the idea of working intensely, in spurts, rather than long swaths of time. I call it the 33 Minute Copywriter.
Here is how to become a 33 minute copywriter.
1. Get a timer. Any timer will do. Personally I use the Timer function on the Clock app on my iPhone. Mr. Schwartz recommends an egg timer. Whichever type of timer you select, make sure you can set this timer to 33 minutes and that it’s not too distracting as it counts down.
2. Place the timer on your desk next to your computer–or wherever you’re writing. Set it for 33 minutes. No more. No less.
3. Start your timer. And write. This is the most important part of this technique. When that timer starts it’s only you and that blank page. There is nothing else. Write. Don’t worry. Don’t think. Don’t fret. Turn off the phone. Don’t get up to make tea. Don’t play with your nose, or the pencils on your desk. Write. Type. Make sure the dog is already out. The world is on hold for 33 minutes. This is your 33 minutes. That’s it. For these few short minutes the timer is your complete and total master.
4. When the timer reaches 33 minutes and the alarm goes off, stop writing. Even if you’re in the middle of a sentence or a thought, stop. Save your work. Get up. Leave the computer. Don’t sit there and monkey around with email, Facebook or minesweeper. You must physically leave the computer. This is very important. Walk to the kitchen and refill your beverage. Stay away from your computer for at least 5 minutes. Take a break.
5. If you have the luxury of running two or more of your 33 minute sessions w/out being disturbed, do it. But if you only get one 33 minute session in a day, don’t dispair. Do one session if that’s all you can do. You’re 33 minutes closer today than you were yesterday! Before you know it, the project will be done.
That’s it. Set the timer, start the timer, write for 33 minutes. Bing! Take a break. Wash, rinse, repeat. I promise if you try it, you’ll be amazed at how effective this little trick can be. Now stop reading this and go write something!
September 3, 2012