I’ve been stuck in a rut for a while, and I stopped writing. I was struggling to find motivation and time. I felt like I was too busy so I didn’t bother to try and muster up the enthusiasm to write. Why bother being excited to write, if I didn’t have the time to do so?
Yet, I felt disappointed. I wasn’t happy. One of my favorite things to do is write. Of all my hobbies and interests writing is easily what I’m most passionate about. So why wasn’t I doing the one thing that made me the happiest?
I was stuck in an all or nothing mentality. For the longest time, I thought writing less than an hour wasn’t worth my time. If I couldn’t have a whole hour to write, then I couldn’t have any time to write. If I couldn’t have it all, then I gave myself nothing.
I didn’t start writing again until I realized that writing for a short amount of time was still something. I couldn’t have a whole hour, but I could have 15 minutes.
Why I Only Write for 15 Minutes A Day
I Don’t Have Time to Write More
I’m a wife, a mother, and although writing is the hobby I’m most passionate about, it isn’t my only hobby. I also like to run, cook, sew, and dabble in photography. I like to do puzzles and watch T.V. I like taking my little man to the zoo or the park.
With all that I do in a day, 15 minutes is all I feel that I can realistically spare for my writing.
I Feel Accomplished
After 15 minutes of writing, I feel like I have accomplished something. I didn’t think 15 minutes would be worth anything at first. But as I’ve gotten into the habit of writing 15 minutes a day, I’m amazed at how much time that is to accomplish something. It may not be enough time to write a whole chapter or revise 20 pages. But it is enough time to write a scene or revise a few pages.
And it’s helping me write on a daily basis rather than once or twice every couple of months.
I Leave with More to Do the Next Day
Although 15 minutes is time to accomplish something, it definitely leaves me feeling like I have more to do the next day. And this encourages me and keeps me excited for tomorrow. Rather than turning on the computer and wondering where to go next, I feel like I’m picking up right where I left off.
I don’t Feel Discouraged or Overwhelmed
By only writing for 15 minutes, I don’t usually encounter problem after problem. Not that my WIP doesn’t have countless problems. But because I’m writing in such short chunks, I only find one or two per writing session. Writing for 15 minutes a day helps me tackle one problem at a time. This keeps me from feeling discouraged or overwhelmed.
Not feeling discouraged or overwhelmed also keeps me motivated and excited to come back and write the next day. When I would spend longer amounts of time writing, I would see so many problems in my story that it was hard to feel motivated to write. I felt like a horrible writer. I wondered if my story had too many problems to be worth fixing. Or maybe I wasn’t competent enough to fix them. So I wouldn’t write for a while.
But now that writing for 15 minutes a day is helping me focus on one problem at a time, it’s so much easier to keep writing. It’s so interesting that my writing hasn’t changed. The number of plot holes and the amount of revision hasn’t changed. But my approach to writing, and my recognition that it’s okay to only write for 15 minutes a day has helped me push past a huge mental block because I don’t getting discouraged as often.
Writing for 15 Minutes a Day is Worth it
I do want to get to the point where I am able to write for a bit more each day, or maybe certain days where I dedicate a bit more time. But this system has been working so well for me! If you only have a few minutes to spare each day, writing for 10-20 minutes a day might be the perfect way for you to write on a consistent basis and stay motivated!
Don’t think you have to write for a certain amount of time for it to be worth it. It might take a while to get the most out of your short writing session, but if you give it a fair try, I’m confident it will be a great way for you to write more regularly. Writing for 15 minutes a day is always going to be better than not writing at all!
How long do you write? Will you try a shorter writing session?