Many writers use the website or program Write or Die to try to race the clock and get as many words written as possible in a set amount of time. It’s a fun and challenging way to up your word count.
My biggest problem is shutting my inner editor up. She doesn’t like to stay quiet for long. Then what happens is I go off in an editing frenzy completely getting sidetracked, getting no words written during that time, often deleting things – which of course takes away from my word count. Not the best idea. Reckless cycle.
I use write or die for this reason sometimes, but I like to change up my methods. So when I stumbled across mytomatoes.com at first I was a little skeptical. I mean, anyone can use a kitchen timer, what makes this ridiculous site so special? Then I began reading about all of it, and I noticed there was a whole method to all the madness. Time management strategy, if you will.
I really like that I can use this as a tool to get as much writing done as I can in a short amount of time. Honestly, there really isn’t anything all that special about the site, except it’s just fun. It also reminds me a little bit of the thrill I get when I participate in the word wars over on the NaNoWriMo website.
The idea behind mytomatoes.com is basically to teach you time management skills using a basic cooking timer. Just click on the link, when the page is loaded, sign in or register and then start the time. As soon as you see the 25 minutes appear, begin writing. Just write and write, never stopping, never doing anything else. JUST WRITE. The goal is to get as many words as you can in 25 minutes. Turn off your internal editor and just write. At the end of the 25 min. take a 5 min. break. Then the alarm will go off again, and you start again. Those 5 min. allow for a potty break, grabbing a snack, another cup of coffee or tea, or anything else you could fit into 5 min. But as soon as you hear the alarm again, sit yourself down and start a new tomato.
I’ve actually really enjoyed using the site so far. I like it simply for the accountability factor, and I can usually get about two or three tomatoes in before I need to get up and take a longer break.
So if you’re like me, and have trouble shutting that inner editor up, check it out. This might be exactly what you’re looking for.