The two main reasons for not putting pen to paper as a writer are fear of rejection (another blog post) and lack of time in our busy schedules. I know firsthand how time deficiency can eat away at our optimism with each passing minute we aren’t creating, twisting and stringing those lovely words together.
I used to feel that if I weren’t able to spend a large block of time writing then I wasn’t able to write at all. Then, a friend challenged me to write every day for only FIVE minutes; no more and no less. Exactly 5 minutes.
I purchased an inexpensive kitchen timer from a local Big-box store and tried her simple test and wrote daily for three weeks for 5 minutes (now, to be fair, I did also spend a couple of extra minutes re-reading what I’d written the day before to get my juices flowing- so overall, I spent about 7 minutes each day.) After the three weeks passed, I was amazed to see what I had actually produced in only 5 minutes daily.
Now I realize I’ll certainly accomplish a greater word count if I’m able to set aside a 2-4-hour block of time; but some days you just aren’t able to sacrifice that much time.
It’s easy to fall into not producing prose as other activities chip away at our day; especially if those activities are on-going and are just as important as writing might be. Before we know it, months have flown past and we haven’t fashioned a single sentence. Then guilt sets in and begins to nag; making us even more unproductive. Some of us even begin to question whether we are a writer or not.
But this cycle can be broken. Try my friends test. See if it works for you.
Set a timer for whatever time you’re able to spare producing words at any given moment; some days it might only be 5 minutes, others it may be 20 or 25 minutes—and that’s okay. The point is to condition yourself to write something, every single day.
If you really want to do the actual test of 5 minutes daily for 3 weeks and see where it leads you, then absolutely go for it! Like me, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you actually produce in that time frame.
If you’re new to writing (or are struggling with writers’ block) and find it difficult to generate idea’s, then start your 5-minute challenge by just writing anything that comes to mind. Pick an object in your room and about a character holding it, or selling it to someone she doesn’t like. Or write a blog post about the object: Where it came from, why it’s special, etc. Write about a book you’ve read or T.V. show you watched; why did you choose it? How did it make you feel? What is important about it?
Write about something you miss in your life. I’m a grandmother now, with an empty-nest and I miss my boys as toddlers around my feet.
If you’re really blocked, then write about the breakfast you ate, or skipped.
The point is to WRITE. Every day for 5 minutes (or more.)
I’d love to hear about your experiment with my friends’ test, or what think about trying it out—Don’t be shy! Leave a reply below.
Thanks for visiting, and Happy Writing!