Daily post – Jan. 11, 2020

Ah, yesterday. It was a day.

I wrote 121 words at about midnight. If I didn’t have that 100 word minimum that I require for a day to count in my daily fiction writing streak (159 days), I wouldn’t have bothered with more than 2 words, guaranteed. :D

I just had either a great idea or a stupid one that’s going to be the end of this thing. I think I’m going to require the number of words of the number of days long the streak is for the day to count. So, if I want today to count, I’ll need 160 words.

Maybe it’ll keep me from getting more bored. I’m already a bit bored with the daily writing as it is. Something about requiring myself to write just really makes me want to not do it. I hate being told what to do, even by myself. I’m contrary like that. ;D And I really hate arbitrary numbers. I try to always find a reason to pick the numbers I do for my goals.

As for today, I already have half my post written, and I’ll post it later tonight.

I’m trying to get into a routine here: daily writing, evening posting of the blog, so I’m not distracted from fiction writing by the blogging. It’s not going so well so far.

I wrote a massively long post then deleted it, because it was too personal and too rambling, so I guess that means I need to hop on over to the writing and let myself work out my issues there. :)

Daily post – Jan. 10, 2020

Yesterday I wrote 1,286 words of fiction. I had the same plan as the day before, but after my first two sessions, I stopped for lunch and just never came back to the book.

I tried a no WiFi rule for yesterday’s sessions, but it did not work. I mean, I turned off WiFi at the beginning of the sessions, but I didn’t like how it made me feel. Suddenly writing was “work” and I was treating it like “work” and that was a bad, bad idea. I can’t say that’s why I didn’t come back to the book, because I don’t think it is, but I sure don’t think it helped.

The truth is, as soon as I start bossing myself around, I start feeling like I’m taking everything too seriously and not having fun. So I don’t think that’s a good option for most days.

So no more “no WiFi” rule. I’m really not that bad at stopping myself from going online when I’m aware. So being aware is what I need to practice. :D

This morning (Jan. 11, because I’m writing this post the morning after), I revisited the schedule I set for the six sessions of 600 words and made some adjustments based on what I learned on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Even though I know consciously that this is a FLEXIBLE schedule in the most flexible sense possible, seeing the blocks on my calendar make it feel restrictive. On the other hand, I need that, because I have to block out everything on my calendar when I need to be on time somewhere, because I just have no ability to process the passage of time accurately. I’ll allow two hours for something that takes six not realizing just how off all my estimates are, even if I’ve done the same thing twenty times before. I just can’t visualize time without doing the math.

This is probably the number one reason I fail to hit my writing goals. I wait and wait and wait to start, thinking I have plenty of time, and then it’s 8 PM and I feel like I have lots of time before bed, but the reality is, I can’t get even four hours of writing in before bed at that point, even if I go to bed at midnight, because I don’t account for the inevitable interruptions and passage of time that happens when I go heat up a drink or take a pee break. :D

It is inevitable I’ll lose time. And yet I do this again and again, day after day. So my word counts are always lower than I had hoped, and the only solution is to write early in the day, but I end up with days like today, where it’s already 11:20 am and I haven’t started because of blog posts, getting bills or household stuff done (bills today! or record-keeping, these days, since most bills kind of pay themselves), and other what-have-you things that get in the way of sitting down to concentrate.

But I want a routine, and so I’m trying to make one. We’ll see how that plays out this month.

Daily post – Jan. 9, 2020

I set out today with the same plan I had yesterday.

600 x 6 = 3,600

Here’s how it went.

Each line starts with the goal word count for the end of that hour. I’m scheduling hours because it’s easiest. I’m not always getting an hour of timed writing done in that hour, but I don’t care. Really, I don’t care. The ultimate goal is 600 words x 6, not 6 hours of writing.

As a reminder, how I get these 600 words every day is up to me. Any session style I want. 5 minute sprints, 20 minute sprints, 60 minute blocks. Whatever works.

In fact, today, I’ve used all those mentioned above, and a 10 minute sprint and a 40 minute block, too.

Whatever works. ;D

I meant it.

600 – 214
1200 – 1158
1800 – 1677
2400 – 2155
3000 – 2718
3600 – 3633

I really, really liked this method. The flexibility makes it fit whatever mood I’m in, and that is a huge boon for me.

I’m working on that last session now. I’m going to hit that 3,600 tonight. I’ll be back to update when I do.

Update

That last hour took 70 minutes, but I did it. :-) Whew.

All told, I spent 268 timed minutes writing (4.47 hours) which felt like it took all day. But I managed to watch a few episodes of television, cook a nice meal at lunch, and putter a lot online.

That’s the biggie, in fact—the puttering. I probably spent more than half the time I spent on the computer not writing. So yeah, of course it felt like it took all day. That’s probably 9 hours of my day at the computer. I definitely need to think about trimming that down if I want to reach this goal regularly.

Now to do this again tomorrow…

Daily post – Jan. 8, 2020

The reason I wasn’t in the mood to write a post for yesterday is because I’m planning to do a little blogging while I write today. (I did write a post, but it was super short and to the point.)

Today, it’s a marathon!

I want to hit my 2020 daily word count goal of 3,600 words. I haven’t yet and today is the beginning of the second week of January. It’s about time I decide if I want to keep the big goal or scale back.

With this goal I am pushing far, far above what I normally accomplish. I can do 1,000 wph. I don’t do it often. More often, my pace falls somewhere in the realm of 500 wph. I’d complain, but been there, done that. It is what it is. At 500 wph, getting to 3,600 words requires a LOT of focused time sitting in a chair. I don’t focus that well. Best not to try to do it all at once in a day, and once I start doing other things, well, the writing loses. That’s just a fact.

I’ll have to fight against that fact this year if I want to make this goal.

On that note, my hourly push for this big 3,600 word goal is only 600 wph. (Gotta have some parts of the plan be reasonable so I at least have a chance.)

Here’s the plan for the foreseeable future, but today specifically.

600 words x 6.

Yep, that’s it.

The biggest challenge will be not getting discouraged when my hourly pace inevitably falls off. Because some days it will. The way I track words makes it inevitable (deleted words hit all my word count averages in the end).

The second biggest challenge will be sticking out the hours in the chair until I hit that 3,600 words.

A few beautiful caveats to this plan:

  1. I get to work on whichever story I want to keep my interest high and make writing fun enough to stick with it.
  2. How I get these 600 words every day is up to me. Any session style I want. 5 minute sprints, 20 minute sprints, 60 minute blocks. Whatever works.

Now, back to writing. I had to revisit this post after my internet went down and it didn’t post and I’m between my first and second hour of writing. Only 3,268 words to go.

Hour 1: 332 total (40 minutes timed) (498 wph, fancy that)

Hour 2: 1,026 total (45 minutes timed) (724 wph average)

Hour 3: 1,175 total (20 minutes timed) (671 wph average)

I’ve called it. Although I tried to stay on track today, I had a lot of interruptions and I just couldn’t do it. Time to try again tomorrow. I’m determined to get into better sleep routines so I can start writing early in the mornings.

If I get started early tomorrow, I have a feeling I’m going to do a lot better. This routine actually worked really well today and I liked it. I am definitely giving it another shot. :-)

Daily post – Jan. 6, 2020

I kept my streak alive yesterday, but that was about it. I logged 134 words.

I wrote a whole bunch about a whole bunch of things, then remembered that I am not allowing myself to be negative about my goals and writing this year, so I deleted it all and wrote this instead.

I wrote 134 words yesterday after accounting for a paragraph I deleted, and that’s really all that matters. I wrote. My daily writing streak lives on.

The last time I had a daily writing streak going and quit, I’d reached 47 days, and I’m still not sure why I quit. I have a note in my daily word count log and it says simply: Gave up on daily writing. It sucks.

What did I mean by that? I have no idea. It’s been more than a year since and it obviously wasn’t important to me to remember.

My previous best streak of 122 days ended with the note: Ended “no more zero word days”.

Don’t know why I ended that one either. Probably no reason at all. Some days I just get up and decide I’ve had enough of one thing or another.

My current streak has reached 155 days, and I’m starting to feel the itch.

Daily post – Jan. 5, 2020

The plan today was to try to sit down three times and write 1,200 words each time.

In actuality, this is what happened:

I did four 20 minute timed sessions between noonish and 4:40 pm. I wrote 1,376 words during this time (a really good pace for me, definitely some of my fastest writing). That was 1.333 hours of writing for 4.667 hours of available time.

Do not ask me what happened to the rest of the time, because I can’t say. I have no idea. I did stuff. Who knows?

At 6:32 pm, I returned to the writing. At 6:43 pm, I actually turned on my timer and started writing. Maybe I shouldn’t have pulled up my browser. :D

Note to self: do not open browser during writing breaks, because then a two minute break becomes a two hour break. Or better yet, TURN OFF WIFI on the computer each time I sit down, make a goal for a number of sessions, and DON’T TURN IT BACK ON until I reach that goal. :D

Yeah, that’s probably the better option.

Over the next six hours or so, I logged about five more 20 minute sessions and ended the night at 1:04 am with 2,952 words, logging an official 2.97 hours of timed writing for the day. During that time, I took a break on my main novel twice and worked on a different novel.

All told, I worked on three novels today. One is sitting at 48,227 words at the moment, one is at 16,006, and the other is just getting started at 2,805. :D I have seven active stories going right now: a short, a short novel (maybe), and six full novels (I can’t imagine any of them coming in under 50k). I rotate them out whenever I feel the need.

1. I’m happy about the words.

2. I’m not happy about the time.

3. I’m not happy I stayed up so late.

4. I’m happy anyway, because good writing days always make me happy. :D

As usual, I’m either in love or hate with my story, and right now, I love love love all of them. :D

Feeds are back—even though I didn’t know they were gone

A long time ago, I added a cleanup function to my theme functions file and deactivated the RSS feed links that usually appear in the header of a WordPress site. I didn’t really think much about this but it has been brought to my attention that maybe I shouldn’t have done that.

I checked in Feedly, and sure enough, without those links in the <head> of the site, Feedly doesn’t even think there’s a feed here. I doubt any feed reader is finding the feed.

Oops.

I commented out the line of code that removed the feed links from the <head> of the site and lo and behold, Feedly now recognizes a feed for the site.  :-)

As for why I’m posting this now when I had planned to be writing, I think I’ll skip the admission that I delayed writing so I could read in the sun instead. :D What an awesome way to start the day.

Ah well. I’m ready now to dig in. That’s good enough. ;-)

I also used my time in the sun to read back through my last five-ish pages (I send my book to myself as an EPUB every time I run my backups (which I’ve mentioned I do obsessively)) and highlighted a couple of typos and a paragraph to switch order, so I kinda started the writing already.

Man, this story has really taken off. I’m looking forward to seeing where the heck it’s going! I ended last night on a sudden (shortish) time jump that I wasn’t expecting but that makes total sense. I’m excited for the characters and that’s always a good thing.

Daily post – Jan. 4, 2020

So, two things. I didn’t stop at 9 p.m. last night. The writing was going well and I didn’t want to stop. I also waited to post this until today, which is the next day. I did warn that I wouldn’t always be posting the day of, but I had hoped to last a little longer than this. ;D However, posting is posting and that’s all I’m going to worry about, so it’s a win. :D I’m posting.

Yesterday’s word count was a lot more on par with my January and 2020 goals, but still fell short.

I wrote 1,670 words. Since it’s my first 1,000+ word day since December 17th, I’m also calling that a win!

I made the call a few days ago that I’m just going to have to live with the fact that I need the timers to focus. Otherwise, I don’t stick with the writing. Too many other things are always grasping for my attention and that’s just a fact of life for me. This is the year I make peace with that. :-)

Even with the timers, I spent hours at the computer yesterday and logged 2.55 hours of active timed writing.

Today I’m aiming for a solid 5 hours.

I’ve said before, it takes me far longer than an hour to get an hour of timed writing, for reasons I can’t truly explain. So this is a challenge for me for sure! ;D

Tracking time to see where the time went between sessions did nothing but show me that I hate tracking time and that I switch between things too fast to make it make sense to even try. So I gave up any kind of actual time tracking a long time ago.

But everyone is different and what might be a challenge for me might be easy for someone else. Just like I find it easy to keep my stories all in my head. I don’t write down much of anything. I just remember. When I need a refresh, I skim the story and it all comes back to me in a flash.

I don’t need extensive notes about my series, and I still manage to do oodles of call backs and threading of big arcs and I don’t really know how I do it.

I also find it really strange when other writes claim they can’t remember writing something—I believe them, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t really understand it. That is definitely not how it works for me. I can tell you the plots of every book I’ve written and give you details about those people as if they were beloved relatives, and that has held true even as my catalog of finished books has grown. :D

Well, time to get to work! I have a book to finish this coming week if I can and I’m hoping to make good progress on that today. It’s sunny and beautiful outside and I want to do some writing at my sunny desk before it gets dreary again. :D

Daily post – Jan. 3, 2020

I wrote 600 words today on one novel. Just when I thought I was going to get to dig in and do more, the daughter called and I spent an hour and forty minutes on the phone. :D So that was a bust.

I’ve decided I need to set a boundary for myself for finishing my writing for the day this year. I’ll start with it as an experiment for January, and see how that goes. But 9 PM is the stop time I came up with.

I plan to consider it a hard stop. Doesn’t matter if I’m tired or not, or want to write more or not. As a general rule for the entire month of January, I must stop at 9 PM if I haven’t already called it a night on the writing.

I just really need to break the habit of going to bed early one night and late the next, and then doing it all again. And one of the primary things that causes that is procrastinating my writing and then trying to rush and do more right when I should be getting ready for sleep.

I also would like to start getting to the writing earlier, and that means getting up.

So, it’s back to the effort to improve my sleep habits as a way to improve my writing. :D

Now goodnight, because I’m done. I was two hours short of sleep last night and although I’m not tired yet, I have definitely lost my ability to concentrate. I’m going to try to get a fresh start tomorrow, and start earlier than today and maybe make up a few words in the process. If not, well, tomorrow is a new day and I have a daily goal I’d like to meet at least once this week! :D

Daily post – Jan. 2, 2020

I decided on December 31st that I was going to post a daily post on the site this year. I even drafted one up (which I’ve since used for the WordPress bug test post).

Then I decided maybe not.

But now I’ve rescinded that decision. I think this daily posting thing will go well with my daily writing this year.

I have a streak going and I intend to keep it going all through 2020. I’m up to 150 consecutive days of fiction writing. That’s my longest run to date. I’d like to see how long I can make it before my impulsive side gets the best of me and decides there’s no point to it. ;D

I’m not swearing I’ll get the post up every day on time or anything, but I will post one for the day within a day or two, which’ll naturally include my daily word count. Mostly because I’ll be using these posts as a sort of accountability for my goals.

I will say this: I don’t think it’s going to be smart of me to start off the day by writing the post for the day before. I tend to get sucked into the blog posts and waste of lot of prime writing time doing a brain dump, getting stiff from sitting too long, and letting my coffee go cold, then end up having to do a total reset to get started with the fiction writing.

Today, this moment, is a case in point. (Grimaces at the mouthful of cold coffee and swallows anyway.)

Toodles. :D I have fresh coffee to brew and a book to write.

Oh, and I wrote 252 words on January 2nd, and 303 on January 1st.

Definitely not on target for the plans I’ve made for this new year. :-o

I hate playing catch up, but I guess that’s what I’ll be trying to do today.

WordPress 5 bug that’s messing up my publish dates for newly published draft posts

There’s an annoying bug in WordPress 5 that’s popped up a few times for me lately and I finally sat down this morning and decided to see if I could figure out what the heck is going on. I found mention of it at the WordPress site, but it’s an eight year old bug that appears to have been fixed at some point. Only it’s not fixed, because this is exactly what’s happening here.

I had a post that I never finished in draft, edited in bulk quick mode to close a bunch of posts to comments and pingbacks, and when I used the unfinished post for my Year in Review—2019 post, it set the date to December 28 when I published it on January 1. I had to update it to the correct post date last night when I realized what had happened. (I posted the December progress post, backdated, and it still showed up before the year in review post that I had posted on January 1st, and I knew that wasn’t right, so a quick check of the post showed me the date was off by 4 days.)

So, in case you’ve found this post while looking for info about a WordPress publish date bug, there you go. Maybe this will help you remember not to quick edit drafts. Better safe than sorry and easier to remember than to remember to check the publish date every time.

Happy New Year. :D

(My test post that confirmed this bug is actually the bug I’m dealing with.)

A test post that turned into a post about writing and trusting the process

This is a test post that I’m posting before I make a fool of myself complaining about a WordPress bug. I’d like to see if it’s reproducible before I publish that draft! This post was already a draft that I made on January 1st, but never posted, so it fits the bill for what I need to test.

At the moment, the Publish date is set to “immediately” which means there’s no publish date set on it.

Now I’m going to quick edit the draft, by changing something minor like adding a new tag. Then I’m going to edit regularly and check the date.

:D

Be back soon with the answer.

Well, it definitely messed up my dates. The date is set to the time of the quick edit: 11:01 a.m. Now, if I publish this post, I’ll have to remember to change the date and time. Or not, since I’m just using this post as a test.

I’m going to publish this, just because it supports my post about the bug. :D

It’s not a bad example of how I use writing to help me think things through. I pretty much write down everything, else my thoughts just spin too fast to really make sense of and I get distracted. Writing helps me focus. :D

In a related tangent, and to make this about writing, that’s why I like being a discovery writer.

If I try to consciously think about what’s coming up or what to write next in the story, I can’t bring it all together. I try to follow too many branches of the story. Writing it down keeps me centered in the story and actually creating it. I do not do well trying to make up stories if I’m not writing it down. On the other hand, I do fight that same problem while writing, which probably accounts for 50% of the reason I’m just not a fast writer.

For example, two days ago, I was cycling back through my current scene in progress because something felt off, and I added a line. That line led to another line and another, and then before I knew it, I’d branched off the current path I was on and started on a new one.

The problem is that the paths are somewhat incompatible, and yet, the second path wants to be there.

Why, you ask? Why not just delete it all after that point where I diverged and keep going as I am? I don’t know. I do that sometimes. And sometimes I don’t. I can’t always say why my muse wants me to make something work even when it seems like it won’t. At the moment I’m thinking it just wants me to keep writing until I find a way to circle back to that bit and it fits.

In my last book, this same thing happened in a scene and the end result was that I ignored the frustrated part of myself that kept saying just give up and delete the damn thing and keep going—that I’d come up with something just as good if I did (I often do), but I didn’t listen. I’m glad I didn’t listen. When I read those parts of the book back, what’s there was really good for that book. It turned out to be a pivotal moment for one of my characters and set off some really fun action and great character moments for others too.

Anyway, on to the real work of the day. :D I have to complain a bit about WordPress and then work on finishing my current book. :D

(Yep. It published at 11:20 a.m. as 11:01 a.m. Definitely a reproducible bug in WordPress.)

Year in review—2019

I wrote 239,236 words in 2019.

January — 577
February — 1,573
March — 15,742
April — 50,137
May — 52,460
June — 10,272
July — 966
August — 24,113
September — 24,609
October — 19,168
November — 22,797
December — 17,322

My slow months are the same as in the past.

Over the entire time I’ve been tracking, January, December, and June are my worst for word count, and even though 2019 numbers are just a little different, the pattern held. Early and late year months are off, and the middle of the year dip extended into July.

Otherwise, I’m not too disappointed with 2019. It ended up my third best year for word count.

2012 — 146,821
2013 — 268,191
2014 — 217,641
2015 — 250,011
2016 — 220,071
2017 — 126,581
2018 — 92,198
2019 — 239,736
All years — 1,561,250

 

December 2019 progress

Gotta backdate this one so it doesn’t overtake my Year in Review. :-)

I wrote 17,322 words in December, which is a far cry from the 60k goal I set out with at the beginning of the month. I realized quickly enough that 60k in December was going to be tough, and then just as quickly, I started realizing it wasn’t going to happen. I was getting behind in the beginning of the month, and all the holiday time was staring me down from the last week of the calendar.

Still, I’m actually not that disappointed with my December total.

As far as Decembers go, it was my third best out of eight. That’s not a bad result at all. :)

Now, on to the new year. I have big, big, big plans. :D

November 2019 progress

I forgot to post my November progress.

I’ve almost decided to stop calling this thing “progress” and start calling it a report, because that’s what it feels like. After 7 years, progress that isn’t really progressing is getting me down. I’ve been chasing a 2,000 words a day plan, now 2,200 words a day, for years and I’m just not getting there.

I haven’t decided yet if I’ll rename them in the new year or not. I guess we’ll find out in the new year!

November words: 22,797.

December is tracking to be a little better, but not by much.

I have been trying a few new things this month, but what worked in November was a return to timers and my daily writing streak.

The daily writing streak is still going, by the way, with a small tweak. I have to write 50 words for the day to count, and although that doesn’t mean I won’t have negative days because of the way I count my words, it does mean I have to prove to myself that I did write 50 words and make a note of that proof on the days I can’t look at the numbers and tell I hit 50.

Hasn’t happened yet, though. :D

 

 

December off to a slow start but today is an opportunity

I haven’t had the most promising start to December.

Where I am: 1,334 words

Where I’m supposed to be: 4,000 words.

I don’t want to say I’m going to try to catch up today and even get ahead, because I’m not that good at meeting goals like this, but that’s what I’m going to do. :D

My fingernails are annoying me on the keyboard today, but they’re too short to trim. The house is cold and my coffee has gotten cold fast. I’m going to heat it, then start writing.

I’ll probably do some 50 minute sessions. I like those. Enough time to really focus and short enough so that I can move often enough not to get stiff.

Either way, as I said before, I’m not tracking time or speed, just using the timers to focus me on the writing.

On another topic, I’ve decided to change my main writing goal.

I’m upping my daily word count goal from 2,000 to 2,200. I’m also going back to trying to reach and maintain that as a daily average instead of a daily minimum. The minimum just isn’t working for me, but I can see myself reaching that as a daily average and maintaining it.

I know I haven’t done it before, long-term, but I can. I really believe that.

Thankful yesterday wasn’t a zero word day :-)

I sat down yesterday morning on day six of my (re)start of the 2,000 words a day plan and wrote 401 words.

I’m glad I did, because I thought I’d feel like writing later and maybe get a chance to actually write my 2,000 words yesterday.

HAHAHAHAHA!

Yesterday was also day 115 of my effort to have no more zero word days. My record of consecutive days of writing is 122, as you can see in the screenshot of the sidebar below. I’m so close to surpassing that record!

Screen shot of the sidebar on 11-29-2019

(Screen shot for posterity. I’m always trying to improve these stats. Maybe by the time you read this, the numbers will have changed in the real sidebar.) :-)

Today I’ve hunkered down in my house and will start writing as soon as I publish this blog post.

(I don’t shop, except when I do, and when I do, it’s usually last minute and in a hurry—and I’m betting you could have guessed that. I am an expert procrastinator, after all.)

I need 7,827 words to end today caught up. I am not in any way saying I will get all those words today, but I do want to cut that number down by far more than the 2,000 words today if at all possible. :D

I’m going to use 15 minute timers today.

Probably won’t track any metrics, because that’s not why I’m using timers. I don’t care how fast or slow I write. I just want to stay focused and get in more time. My math bent does mean that sometimes focusing on the math is the easiest way to keep my conscious mind busy so my subconscious can have free rein of the writing itself, so we shall see. :D

Falling falling falling…

Should never had bragged about my two day streak of 1,000+ words. ;) Of course I broke it yesterday. I just had too much to do in the afternoon and I had too many interruptions in the morning.

I wrote 863 words on day five of my (re)started 2,000 words a day plan.

This morning, yes, Thanksgiving Morning, I’m going to try to get 1,000 before I have family things that are going to take all my time today. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to write this evening and get to 2,000.

It really would have helped if I’d had a few words in the bank into the holidays! I’ll just have to do my best not to fall too far behind in the next few days.

 

Another slip but a two day streak I’d like to keep alive despite the holidays

I only wrote 1,007 words yesterday. My accept-no-excuses attitude obviously needs work. I had a raging headache yesterday and never really got moving on my words until it got late, and then couldn’t stick it out when I got sleepy.

On the other hand, I wrote 1,007 words and that means I have a two day streak of 1,000+ word counts and I’m going to try to hang onto it with all I’ve got despite the upcoming holidays and my packed calendar.

I’d like 2,000 today, but I’m not sure it’s going to be possible. I should have had all morning for writing, but I’ve completed four 15 minute sprints (more about that later, because yes, I gave in and I’ve started using my timers again as of the day before yesterday*). Out of those four 15 minute blocks, I haven’t gotten through one of them without having to stop the timer at least three times.

*The timers thing: I’ve decided I had to come up with a new way of thinking about the timers. They’re my inoculation against perfectionism. They keep me aware of the passage of time. They don’t interfere with flow. They enhance it.

I don’t even think about it on a conscious level when I have one running. But somehow, someway, the timer keeps me aware of what I’m doing and keeps me from falling into a circular thinking pattern that ends with me redoing the same sentence twenty times for no good reason. I’m serious. The timers aren’t about pressure, they’re about awareness. And I need them. I’m ready to accept that. I need the timers to stay aware of time and that’s just not going to change no matter how much I want it to.