Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Practice Room


School’s in session!

I like my class: they're smart and well-spoken and good-looking, too! (I know they can use Google, and they’re gonna find this blog and read it sooner or later. Best to butter them up now!)

However, a full teaching day cuts into my writing time and blows my concentration. If I want to keep up my productivity, I need to schedule some dedicated writing time. Over the summer, I found Tina Laurel Lee’s blog, The Practice Room, to be extremely helpful for focus and productivity.

So I volunteered to run evening sessions.

This week, I’ll be running my first session of TPR – Thursday night, at 8pm EST. If you want to get in an hour of productive writing – or just see if I can manage this feat without a technical disaster – join me! Here’s how it works:

1. Show up at http://tinalaurellee2.blogspot.com/ sometime in the half hour before the scheduled session. In the case of this Thursday, pop in anytime between 7:30 and 8:00 pm EST. Let me know you’re present by adding a comment to the post and establishing a goal for the hour. (You can draft new words in your WIP, write some upcoming blog posts, work on revisions, outline a new project – anything!)

2. At the designated time (ie: 8:00pm) a post will appear announcing WE ARE UNPLUGGED. At this time, close the internet and unplug (or ignore) your phone. JUST WRITE.

3. When the hour is over, return to The Practice Room. A chat box will appear (assuming I don’t screw up) for everyone to report on their progress and talk about writing. If this is your first visit, you will have to take a moment to register with Chat Roll. Returning visitors need only sign in and start chatting.

What’s great about The Practice Room is the feeling that you’re not alone in your writing. You designate a time to commit to your craft, and you know there are other people out there working beside you.

I also like the “unplugged” nature of the session. Yes, I get tempted away from my writing by Facebook and Twitter. But I also get yanked out of productive writing by the sudden “need” to research what kind of hard candy was made in America in 1867 or what train stations can be found between Reading and Catawissa, PA. Researching piddling details can derail my writing, but when I’m “unplugged,” I’ve learned to type BLANK in the text and research it later. Fluency is achieved; details are cleaned up later.

Looking forward to Thursday, and hope to see some of you there! There are plenty of other sessions, too, so check the schedule posted at The Practice Room.

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10 comments:

  1. I love, love, love, the practice room. Everyone is great. Wish I remembered to head over more often.

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  2. My girls are going back to school tomorrow so today was all about shopping and getting those last minute odds and ends. The Practice Room sounds like a lot of fun and a great community to have. How would it work if you're overseas? Are there other 'write together' unplugged timeslots?

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  3. Sounds like a great idea, and something I def. need.

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  4. TPR sounds like a really great idea - perhaps I'll check it out if I get out of work early enough (it's my late night at my pesky job). And I so know what you mean about researching while writing - I did that last night with masquerade balls :)

    ps wikepedia has some great train info and links - I needed it for my last novel which involved a lot of train travel in 1881.

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  5. hi miss diane! i got way behind on writing cause of so much fun stuff i been doing. so i been unplugged all summer. we share out a computer at our house so im gonna ask my brothers and sisters if i could have that time for the practice room. right now me and sebi are housesitting so i could use my cousins computer.
    ...smiles from lenny

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  6. Oh, what a cool idea! I'll have to check it out one of these days.

    Thanks for the heads up!

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  7. Dianne--I'm hoping to see you there, depends on how my kids are doing and if they are helping me help them get ready for bed. I'm so excited that you are hosting a night, and look forward to kids being in school and having more of a schedule to write. In fact, I'm supposed to be unplugging in a moment for a TPR session. Woo-hoo!

    If people are wondering what other times are available to do a practice room, just click over to the blog, and check this week's schedule. And Tina is super flexible about it, so please email her if you have a specific time in mind. She's AWESOME.

    And, Dianne, if i can host a practice room, then ANYONE can. Me and technical difficulties go hand in hand. (Email me if something comes up!!)

    Off to write! :)

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  8. Interesting. Might have to check it out. But unplug? Will be hard. :)

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  9. Dianne, you explain this so well! Thank you for the TPR plug! Haha, pun sorta intended! I have to say it works for me. And you do get to know such great people there! Thanks for hosting tonight. It went swimmingly.

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  10. Dianne, I missed tonight's session, but really appreciate your post. I read about TPR on another blog and didn't really understand what it was about. You cleared it up for me. Thanks!

    Have a safe happy weekend!

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