I spent the last week on vacation… from a lot more than I originally planned. We have a timeshare at the beach in Ventura county. It’s a great getaway and the weather was great. Bright sun, temperatures in the 70’s, and a great vacant beach. What more could you want?
Well… I plugged in my cell phone… no service, I plugged in the laptop… no wireless internet, and I looked at the phone… charges for local calls… so no dial-up access. Suddenly I was in paradise but I couldn’t communicate with the rest of the world. So many of the plans I had thought would be possible soon evaporated.
I couldn’t log into work and take of things, I couldn’t get e-mail, and I couldn’t blog…. arrgh! Not that I wanted to spend my vacation online all the time, but to be connectionless was strange to say the least. My stress level at first went up greatly. I worried about the little stuff at work. If my co-workers couldn’t get a hold of me could they keep things going? I worried about this blog… I won’t be able to see comments and respond. I also worried about e-mail… what if I need to respond right away??
It took me a day or so to realize that the world would go on without me. I finally just gave a shrug and decided to enjoy my vacation. My wife was very appreciative, and for the rest of the week we enjoyed the beach and our vacation together. My stress level dropped and I was able to catch up on my reading and relaxing.
I am an early riser and my wife likes to sleep in so I’m usually up a couple of hours before she is. I decided that this quiet period would be a great time to work on my book project. I had brought along the book outline on the laptop which was about 25% complete. I setup a 50 minute period and started writing.
With my lower stress level the words just flowed. In less than 30 minutes chapter one was completed and I effortlessly started the next one. The ability to focus was wonderful and the sound of the ocean in the background was soothing. When my first 50 minutes was up I had completed more than I thought.
It was still dark out so I took a short ten minute break and then started my second 50 minute writing session. The words were flowing fast and furious now. Everything seemed to come together. It became apparent that the more I could focus on my work the better the whole process went. A single focus and no distractions brought me into what I would call a “zone”. There were no restrictions… the words just flowed like water.
This 50 minute zone was repeated over and over last week. The chapters came together one after the other and suddenly there was a book taking shape. I added a table of contents and worked on the introduction. I viewed the whole thing in booklet format in Word and the whole look and flow took on new meaning. In this format it read like a book, so I added some illustrations and page numbers.
Wow… the whole thing was taking shape, and now it had form. It had pages that turned, illustrations that told a story, and a cool table of contents that was created off of the outline… cool. When the week was over I had over a dozen chapters created in this 50 minute zone. It still has a ways to go, but with the help of Dan Poytner’s Guide to self publishing, the rest of the process has structure and the end of the tunnel is coming into sight.
I highly recommend this 50 minute focused work structure for any large project.
Arrghh… my cell phone works now and it is ringing…. deep breath… ignore the cell phone… ignore… 🙂