While I was on holiday last week (hence no blog post!), I was perusing the books on my kindle, as you do and I re-read a handy little book that I bought some time ago – The 15 Minute Writer: How To Write Your Book in Only 15 Minutes a Day.
Yes, I am a sucker for ‘get rich quick’ (or, in my case, ‘write with minimum effort’) books!
Anyway, it reminded me, that the draft of my novel (erm, which I might have mentioned a couple of times), started out exactly that way: I had my notebook and pen by the side of my bed and as soon as I woke up each morning, I sat in bed and wrote for fifteen minutes. There, my day’s writing was done.
Obviously, I ended up spending a lot more time on it (hours and hours and hours) but my resistance to starting what I could only conceive of as an impossible the habit of going back to it every day.
Because everyone can find 15 minutes in a day, right? Of course, you might find that a block of 10 minutes or 20, works better for you. Experiment and find your optimum ‘short burst of time’.
It’s amazing what you can achieve in just 15 minutes. Little blocks of time really do add up. I like the time pressure – it makes me work that much faster and harder than if I had an hour. Usually, once the timer beeps, I want to carry on. Sometimes, just starting is the hard bit and by telling yourself ‘just do this for 15 minutes’ you can get over your reluctance.
Projects You Can Tackle in 15 minutes:
* Write a letter to a magazine or newspaper
* Draft a blog post (ta dah!)
* Outline a short story or novel chapter
* Write notes on a character in a novel
* Write all the dialogue in a scene (fill in the rest later)
* Do some freewriting/stream of consciousness/hot penning, to warm yourself up
* Write a diary entry
* Brainstorm some ideas for a competition entry
* Pen the rough first draft of a poem
* Write and post an on-line book review
Or, if you need a bit of ‘down time’ but you don’t want to spend too long, you could: read the chapter of a book, go for a walk around the block or meditate/stretch.
You must use a timer, though. ‘Guessing’ when 15 minutes is up – or constantly glancing at your watch – won’t work. If you don’t have a timer, there’s an on-line 15 minute timer here!
No excuses now! Let me know how you get on!