The Pomodoro Technique for Writers

Filed in Writing Tips by on June 3, 2021 0 Comments

When it comes to writing, time is often the biggest enemy. This is where the Pomodoro Technique can be very helpful... Sometimes all we need is a little ...

When it comes to writing, time is often the biggest enemy. Sometimes we all need a little competition (even if it’s with ourselves) to kick a task into high gear. We think we’re too busy to write because other tasks and responsibilities fill our time. Or we squander away the time we do have to write by allowing our minds to wander when we should be focused. This is where the Pomodoro Technique can be very helpful.

If you fall into either of these time issues, grab yourself a good old-fashioned kitchen timer, put your phone away, and close yourself off from all distractions. Start by setting the kitchen timer for five minutes, then get to writing. You just gave yourself a five-minute period of writing time with no distractions. Keep track of how many words you’re able to write in that time block. You’ll be more impressed by your word count than you thought going into your timer experiment.

Now that you’ve seen how successful you can be when writing with a timer, bump yourself up to the Pomodoro Technique. This working time block includes working on a task for a 25-minute block, followed by a short break of five minutes. After four rounds of 25-minute working blocks and short breaks, you’ll then take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. If you have time, you can jump back into another round of Pomodoros or you can step away from your writing at this time. The Pomodoro Technique can lend you up to two hours of distraction-free writing time, which is a decent amount of time.

5 Reasons Why the Pomodoro Technique Works for Writing

Using a timer while you write can do more than just create a sense of urgency for your writing. It can:

1. Establish positive writing boundaries.

You’ll know that while the timer is going your only responsibility is to write. By following through, you will establish writing boundaries that you, as well as others, will begin to respect.

2. Instill good time management.

If you aren’t great at managing your time, using a timer will help ensure you stay on task until you hear the ding. Once you get the feel for the length of time you give yourself for each session, you’ll be better equipped to manage your writing time as it falls within other tasks and responsibilities.

3. Set mini writing deadlines.

Each timed writing session is essentially a mini deadline you set for yourself. The benefit is all you have to do is write during that time. The number of words you get on paper is less important. The more mini-deadlines you set for yourself, the more consistently you’ll show up for your writing and the sooner you’ll have a completed manuscript.

4. Prove you can do anything for a set amount of time.

A stubborn mental block may be the only obstacle in the way of your writing goals, and forcing yourself to write for five to 25 minutes proves you can do nothing but write for that set amount of time. You can apply this lesson to anything: cleaning the kitchen, folding a load of laundry, etc.

5. Help you beat a case of writer’s block.

If you hit a writing wall that you can’t get yourself around, setting a timer and allowing yourself to free-write can help unclog the thoughts in your head and get you back to a place where the words flow again. If you find yourself consumed with random thoughts before you sit down to write, you may want to make a brain dump part of your writing process. That way, you can clear your head for a few minutes before you dive into your manuscript for the day.

Do you have any tricks to keep yourself motivated to write? Read more of our writing advice columns to keep your inspiration flowing.

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About the Author ()

Erika Bennett is the Content Manager for Xulon Press. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than a decade and her passion is to make sure great books find their way into readers' hands. You can also find her writing on

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