On the post where she talks about Focus Booster, Amanda Hocking said it helped her … and it is helping me.
Focus Booster is an application that counts time. Yes, like a timer. It stays over your doc file, or whatever other window you have open on your computer, and counts time. You can set it for how long you want and you can pause if needed.
Why it helps?
Normally, I start writing, and after every scene or chapter or, sometimes even in between paragraphs, I check the internet … emails, twitter, Facebook, my website, GoodReads, whatever … and that steals my writing time and disturbs my concentration.
With Focus Booster over my doc file, I managed to stay offline. Really. The timer is counting and I’m like “okay, I gotta get this done. Till the time is over, I need to write and write and write.”
I know, the app is simple and it sounds almost stupid, but it really helped me. Really. Last Friday, I got down 5k words in 3 hours. To me, that was awesome!
Yesterday (Monday) was a bit more complicated because, since I don’t write during weekends, it gets me a couple of tries to get down focused on my story again. So, yesterday, I got 2.5k words in 2 hours (not counting here the hours spent in research and outlining–just the plain, old hands-on-keyboard writing).
I turned off TweetDeck and closed my Google chrome page and wrote. If I needed something off the internet, like a research item or the name of a place, I highlighted it and searched for it later, so I would not stop writing. I felt like I was in an exam, with a hard-shelf teacher, where the time was limited to answer all the hundreds of questions and I needed to pass. Just awesome!
How about you? What do you do to stay focused? What helps you stay focused and off the addicting internet?