I'm trying something new--or rather doing something I used to do but stopped doing--this month as I write up my JaNo project. I'm writing each day's "new words" by hand, instead of on the computer, then the first thing I do the following day is type in the previous day's submission. The biggest reason I'm doing this is since I'm a freelance writer I've become addicted to using the Word Recount button--have it firmly available in the middle of my toolbar. This is important when I'm doing articles, so I don't spend more time "editing down" than I did "writing up" the article to begin with; but I've found I get a little too fond now of hitting that button to see "where I am" at the moment.
I used to write every first draft by hand, but changed that tactic as deadlines became more frequent, and writing on the computer became more comfortable. Even as I changed over, I knew I was missing the potential for having that quick edit when I moved my words from pen to keyboard. But I never realized what an addict I was to the Recount key until recently.
This fall, I was watching a morning program while procrastinating on an assignment and checking email instead, and the talking female head (don't remember which on it was) mentioned that during the continuous stock market dive she was continually checking the stock tickers and making herself more and more depressed as the day went on. While I don't get depressed by checking my word count (well, not enough to be concerned about), her words made me realize I was spending time stopping myself from being productive whenever I hit that dastardly little button. Worse, if I was near my daily goal, I would mentally start letting myself "shut down for the day."
Writing by hand also keeps me away from the possibility of checking email--or finding new reasons to research while I write (and become addicted to reading new sites that shift me over to other sites that let me click to other sites, and so on).
While I've always edited by hand (I just don't notice things on the screen that I should, and find things--especially repetitive words and phrases--jump out at me when I read them on paper), I'm finding this low-tech re-habit is kind of comforting right now.
That's not to say I'm writing any better. I've found that as I reread what I've written the day before, as I type, I tend to ax much more than I do when I'm just re-reading a previous day's work on the screen. Guess my fingers don't want to bother typing what I know will go anyway. And while I'm "writing" my 2000 word goal each day, I'm actually typing and keeping something between 500 to 1000. But that's okay. The editing I do now won't have to be done later. And I'm not throwing away these handwritten pages until the project is completed, so if I find I absolutely must have something I didn't give enough credit to during the first readthrough, it will still be accessible--if harder to find.
Best of all, doing the retyping the next day gives another deadline to keep me from straying off track. If I allow myself to only read the previous day's work while I'm typing, I'm not tempted to waste the morning rereading and editing a whole chapter.
It's only day 4, so I don't know if this new habit will be the best thing that ever happened to my fiction; but since my nonfiction has "deadlines", and my fiction has only "wantlines," if I don't find ways to make it have some kind of priority in my day, I just work on assignments instead.
Anyway, that's my life at the moment. Now I'll go back to reading about all of your more interesting lives. Love seeing all the collages, BTW.