10K Day: Survival Tips, Productivity Tricks

Flag-of-truce-behind-deskTHOUGH FUN and rewarding, a 10K Day is very looooong. But you can take some simple actions to increase your staying power.  You can also increase your productivity by eliminating some things you’d normally take for granted.

Start Your Morning Right

On the morning of your 10K Day, you should dress comfortably and eat a proper breakfast. I always start with two poached eggs and two slices of whole wheat toast.

Though you might be tempted to “save time” by skipping breakfast, trying to survive the day on snacks (especially if your snacks don’t contain much protein) will drain your brain of energy big time.

Drink Plenty of Water

Another excellent way to fry your brain cells is to make them work harder than usual while letting them dehydrate. To avoid this kind of avoidable brain fog, drink water at regular intervals.

How to Magically Create More Time for Your Writing

Your family and friends are not the only distractions you’ll need to tame. Are you addicted to Twitter, Facebook or the news channel? Does your idea of writing time involve reading posts on writing blogs and then leaving comments?

First, give a Viking-sized holler of courage:


Now log out of everything and turn off the TV.

You’ll be amazed how much more writing you can get done without these time suckers!

Zen Writing

When you sit down to write on a 10K Day, you should rely solely on creativity, heart and courage.

J.R. Turner (the friend who introduced me to the 10K Day) advises that you should hide your hard copy dictionary and thesaurus. In addition, turn off spell check, grammar check and the thesaurus option in your word processing program.

J.R. says: “Eliminate as much as you can until it’s simply you and the blank page—your imagination and the story, nothing else.”

It’s not about finding the perfect word or creating flawless sentences. It’s about losing yourself in your writing.

A Shower Late in the Day Can Work Wonders

From my 2006 article, Results of My First Ever 10K Day:

“By the end of the third session, I was royally burnt out. I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. I couldn’t imagine facing two more sessions and churning out another 4,000 words.

“I decided to have a longer break after the third session to try to revive myself. I took a shower, put on some fresh clothes and had something to eat. I was prepared to also go do something relaxing, such as read a light magazine—but to my surprise, by the time I was finished eating I was eager to dive in again.”

Stretch Your Body

Your poor body is going to suffer during a 10K Day. Being made to sit in a chair all day while you largely ignore its needs is not the kindest thing. You can do your body a great service by adding some stretches to your day.

Here’s a free (and quick to read) e-book about stretching correctly, complete with photos to illustrate how:

Stretches for Desk Jockeys by Robin Segal

Enjoy your 10K Day! — Milli



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2 Responses to Tips & Tricks
  1. John
    February 18, 2012 | 7:47 AM

    There is no doubt that this article was written by someone who has endured the rigors associated with putting in a long writing day. I have to admit that the health tips given in this article and in the attached article Stretches for Desk Jockeys by Robin Segal should be valuable to success on the 10K event. However, I was looking forward to this article recommending chocolate, chocolate and even more chocolate. I think that the most difficult part of this article for me to follow will be turning off my computer’s spell check. There are times when writing that I get blocked by spelling a simple word, and spell check quickly rescues me.

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      February 18, 2012 | 11:02 AM

      John, FoW is definitely an advocate of chocolate as part of the writing experience. It was remiss of me not to mention it. 🙂

      The advice about the spellchecker is meant to assist writers who get distracted by seeing the kinds of editing issues pointed out in Word by all the squiggly colored lines. The type of writer who would use the spellchecker as a reason to go back and start editing the previous paragraph etc. would benefit from turning it off. In your case, it sounds like the spellchecker supports your ability to keep writing. In which case, I’d say leave it on.

      ~ Milli

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