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Sunday, 15 January 2017

The 15 Minute Writer



I've become a fifteen minute writer. How did that happen?

I needed a daily writing habit. Something that would fit into my busy life, something that didn't make me feel overwhelmed at the thought of starting. I'd heard mutterings about writers that wrote for fifteen minutes at a time, but I'd dismissed the idea as silly, and what was I going to achieve in just fifteen minutes anyway?

Actually, you'd be amazed at what is possible.

In fifteen minutes I can write a fully formed 150 word piece of flash fiction, okay it will need a an edit, but, it can be done in another couple of fifteen minute slots at most. I can start a blog post, and sort out an image to go with it. I can probably come up with a decent title for it too.

I can rewrite a couple of novel paragraphs, sometimes a whole page. I can start a character profile, draw a mind map of my next chapter, or make a list of things I need to include in the next scene.

I'd like to encourage you to try it if you're struggling with procrastination, or if you genuinely think you're too busy to write your novel, or a short story, or enter a writing competition. If you have a goal, dream or desire to write, this is a good way to do it. What's more it can be slotted into daily life.

The best news is that it doesn't just apply to writing, try decluttering a room for fifteen minutes. Or tackling the household chores. it really makes a difference and after a few sessions you begin to see the benefits, and how you can be effective.

What can you do in fifteen minutes?

How Did My Writing Week Go? 

Not so well, my ear infection crept back, and made me feel really poorly, so I've been taking it easy.
I did some writing, a blog post, and also listened to podcasts on writing from The Creative Penn to keep me inspired and motivated.

Other Stuff I Did

Meditation Class
Re-invented myself with a new hairstyle.
New Lippy to go with the new look.
Booked a break in Wales for later in the year.
Ate too much chocolate.

Plans For The Week Ahead 

To rest and recover.

How was your week, and what are your plans?

20 comments:

  1. I'm definitely going to try and do regular 15 minute slots and get started on writing some fiction. It's hard to know where to start, so I've got a creative writing handbook from the library. I'm really looking forward to it. Sorry you've been feeling under the weather, I hope your ear infection clears up quickly. My plans for the week include pitching for a few non-fiction writing jobs and pressing on with the course I'm doing. Oh, and I've booked a week away in Wales as well, just about my favourite place on the planet. CJ xx

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    1. Hi CJ,
      Great to hear you're going to have a go at fiction, I think you've just got to jump in, and do it! Let me know how you get on with the 15 minute writing sessions, I think you'll be surprised.
      As for Wales, I also love it to bits, followed by Derbyshire. The air is so clean in both, and the landscapes are stunning.

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  2. Sorry to hear about your ear, Maria - hope it clears up soon. Thanks for sharing that 15 minute idea - I love that concept as I can't sit at my computer too long before I get bored!

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    1. That made me laugh Rosemary, you're one of the first people I know to actually admit to being bored behind the screen. I get it... :-)

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  3. I'm sorry that you've been poorly. Ear infections are horrible and I hope yours clears up soon. Sounds like the 15 minutes a day is going well :-)

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    1. Thank you Teresa, I'm feeling better in myself today but my hearing is still not good.
      As for the 15 minute thing, I think it works for me because it's achievable. After all if you can't spend 15 minutes on your writing, then there really is something wrong with how you're balancing out your time, and maybe you have to ask yourself if you really want to be writing.

      That's what I did, then applied it to other stuff too like gardening, knitting, reading, and housework, and found there was stuff I didn't want to do, like gardening, so I ditched it, stuff I had to do, like housework, so 15 minutes is a good way to break it down. And stuff I really do want to do, but was getting frustrated about, because I wasn't getting anything done, like writing.

      I just say to myself now, 'it's only 15 minutes, and that gets me started. Often, I carry on over the time. Except when it's housework. :-)

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  4. I think it sounds an excellent idea and I might give it a go next time I don't feel like writing or think I haven't enough time.

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    1. It will help with procrastination for sure.

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  5. Ear infections are horrible, hope you feel better soon. I like your 15 minute idea, I might give that a go as I am trying to get into good writing habits for the new year. Hope the coming week is a good one for you.

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  6. Love your 15 minute plan. How many shirts can I iron in 15 minutes? I'll try that one as I keep letting them pile up :) Hope you feel better soon, Maria. Take care.

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  7. I've known the power of 15 for a while! I tackle household jobs in 15. I have a 10 minute writing habit, and yesterday I wrote 325 words in that time. I have drafted and characterised. Never underestimate the power of the timer! Feel better soon!

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  8. Hope you're feeling better soon!
    Great to hear that you've got a 15 minute rhythm going.
    I have a 30 minute timer to get me doing stuff (and a 60 minute one to make me take a break and move more). I'm always more productive in short bursts than if I sit for ages. I hurt my back a few years ago and ended up doing 5 minute bursts - amazing what you can do in 5 mins!
    When do we get to see the new hairstyle and lippy??

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  9. Hi Amanda, I really like the 60 minute timer idea for taking a break and getting moving. I might start that once I'm feeling better.
    I'll upload a new profile picture soon.

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  10. Sounds like a plan. I often think having a window of fifteen minutes is too short a time to start writing, so now I'll give it a go.

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    1. You'll be amazed what you can get done! Pleased to hear you're going to try it...do let me know how it goes.

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  11. I like this approach. Better to get a little written each day than wait and wait for a long stretch of free time to coincide with being 'in the mood' and so not get anything done at all.

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    1. Yes exactly. Easy to procrastinate when you say to yourself you need two hours to get into it! You can't say that when you only have to do so few minutes though, so you just get on with it!

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