Asali Solomon Recommends...

“I write in periods of forty-five minutes using my cell phone timer, and take fifteen-minute breaks between each session. I repeat this until I’m done for the day. I am amazed how much gets done in just three of these sessions, versus days of unstructured writing, which often lead to irregular breaks, rampant Internet usage, and end with me in a fetal ball of self-loathing. It turns out that no matter how much I am theoretically dying to write, I need structure and limits to get it done. I started this practice when I was writing a dissertation, getting together with other people to work this way. We ‘dissertated’ in forty-five-minute periods using an egg timer, and shared snacks and gossips during the breaks. Back then, the forty-five-minute time period made writing a dissertation bearable. Writing fiction is more satisfying for me, but now life is more hectic with kids/job/house. These little sessions make it seem like I can do it all. It also helps to use one of the more Zen sound settings to signal the end of a session. Truth be told, the egg timer sound got to be a little traumatic.”
—Asali Solomon, author of Disgruntled (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015)