Fifteen Minutes

On those days when it seems daunting to park myself in a chair and write, I’ve found a great way to trick myself into doing it. I tell myself that I will just sit and write for fifteen minutes.

I discovered this initially when I read the book Pen on Fire by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett. The book is full of inspiring exercises and practical tips for writing. I’ve taken the basic premise that we can all squeeze in fifteen minutes to work on our writing.

I’ve made a few rules that make this work for me:

-I have to work on a new piece of writing and add to it. If I’m stuck at some point then I have to at least make notes about what I will work on next in the story or move on to another scene. Keep going forward.

-I can work on revising something that is completed.

-The fifteen minutes cannot be used for going online at all. No checking email, Facebook, or even researching something for the writing I’m working on. No distractions. If I have to look something up, I make a note right there in the draft using the comment feature to remind myself later. The goal is to make progress.

The best part about this approach is that I start to write and/or revise something I’ve written and the next thing I know, time has flown by! Very rarely have I tried this and actually stopped in fifteen minutes.

On days when I have so much to get done and am fretting about not getting to my writing, I can do this and feel a sense of accomplishment.

What do you do to keep writing? Or to start writing on those days when you need a kick-start?

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One thought on “Fifteen Minutes

  1. drybredquips says:

    Thanks for following my blog and sharing your writing interest. From a NYT Book Review: “In the glory days of literary theory, we heard that the root principle of narrative art was “Fort-Da.’ (literally There-Here), derived from Freud’s observation of the cycle of the infant throwing the toy from the crib – Fort! – and then wailing for its return – Da! What could be more basic?”

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