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April 17, 2017


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Michael, you have much more discipline than I do. I don't think I could write for thirty straight minutes without getting distracted. But I like the idea of setting a timer. That format might help me focus and remind me that I'm writing for a specific amount of time, after which I can check e-mail. I might have to give it a try!

Ellen Kirschman

I downloaded a free timer from the Internet called Break-Reminder. It's very simple to use. It times work periods and breaks. Freezes your screen at break time, although you can override the break and keep going. I got it because I can get so lost in my work that I am stiff as a board when I get up. As we know, sitting is the new poison, so getting up and moving for five minutes every hour is not only helping me write that book, it's saving my life!

camille minichino

MICHAEL, I'm worried about that boxer looking at the clock! If his opponent knew about it, pow! at just the right time. But then, I've never been in a ring!

Ellen, that stiffness rings true; an hour is my limit, before I have to at least walk to the fridge :)

Michael A. Black

Staci, I hope you do try the timer and it works for you. Ellen, the thought of the computer freezing my screen would be a tad too Orwellian for me, even with an override capability. And Camille, yeah, it's entirely possible an opponent could hit you as you glanced at the ring clock, but usually a punch delivered in a clinch doesn't have the speed or leverage to do a lot of damage. Plus, a good clinch pins your opponent's arms.


Wow... Now I understand how you keep up such a prolific pace, Mike! I applaud your discipline! I shall have to try the timer approach. I think I need longer than a half hour of writing time, though, because I dither so much in the "ready, set" part of the process.

Mar Preston

Ah, if only, Michael.

Margaret Lucke

Good reminder about the kitchen timer, Michael. I used to use one in a similar way some years back, but I fell out of the habit (probably because the timer broke). I sometimes used it in reverse, too -- while it was ticking I could dither around, but as soon as the chime sounded I had to start writing, no excuses allowed.

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