Thursday, November 21, 2013

Reaching Your Writing Goals 15 Minutes at a Time


A number of my writing friends are participating NaNoWriMo this month with a goal of writing a 50,000 word first draft in November.  It’s a challenge designed to push writers forward through extended, dedicated writing time. 

And then, there are those who just can’t find the time for even 1,000 words—50,000 might as well be a million words.


It’s easy to get caught up in the belief that you don’t have the time you would like to dedicate to your writing. Unfortunately, this belief can derail your writing dreams.  So how do you pursue your writing goals when you are short on time?  

Jennifer Lawler, author of the Dojo Wisdom series, discusses how a martial artist trains each day, even when old and disabled.  The martial artist accommodates life around his art.  One of my critique partners is a lawyer with a full time job, two active young children, a wife, soccer games…the list goes on. Yet he still manages to write one to two hours a day.  How does he do it?  He gets up at 5 a.m. each morning.  He puts in the effort to accommodate his life to his art.

So how can you accommodate your days for your writing life?  Commit to 15 minutes of writing a day.  Even 15 minutes a day will begin the process of transformation.  Why?  Through those daily 15 minutes, you are informing your subconscious that you are committed to your goal.  You will be amazed after a week of allotting only 15 minutes a day, how much you can accomplish and how easy it can be.  Build it into your routine (e.g. shower, coffee, 15 minutes of writing).  If you are ready to change your life and pursue your writing goals, you will find the time.

So this week start with a daily routine of even just 15 minutes.  This small action oriented goal will help you create the habit of pursing your writing dreams.  Maybe that finished manuscript will be done sooner than you ever thought possible.



Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist. For more information check out:

http://facebook.com/DoNorth.biz  


12 comments:

  1. Thanks Mary Jo. I'm one of the suckers doing NaNoWriMo. I find that the "need" to push on and get organised helps me achieve so much more than the days when I don't have that pressure.

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    1. A few days left for nanowrimo. Keep writing.

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  2. I totally agree with you, Mary Jo. "Chunking" is a classic time management technique that really works with big projects, partly because the time adds up but even more by keeping the work present and lettting the subconscious do a lot of the processing work.

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    1. Maggie, I find when I get off track, doable chunks of time helps me refocus.

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  3. Mary Jo, I've started using 'time blocking' to stay focused and get things done. It really does work. And, I love the idea of doing small chunks of writing - it makes the process then feel doable and reduces stress.

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    1. Doable chunks work not only for writing but for all sorts of activities, especially big projects.

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  4. Good advice. I will try harder but I may not hit that 50,000 mark!

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    1. Sometimes with challenges I adjust my target to that which I believe I can achieve.

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  5. I always tell my students to at least do a ten-minute writing exercise every day. I don't always follow my own advice!

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    1. We often teach that which we need to learn or do ourself.

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  6. Great advice, Mary Jo. The trick for me is to feel satisfied on the days I have only a small amount of time to write. Any writing time is good--I'll take it! Your post is encouraging, thank you.

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    1. I feel the same way Linda, I'm happy with even small bits of writing in a day.

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