Are you feeling too busy to write? Setting a more reasonable writing goal might be just what you need. Let’s talk about how to do that.
I was once stuck in a rut where I stopped writing completely. 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. This thought process is one of the worst ways to make any progress on anything! Please don’t let yourself get caught in an all-or-nothing mentality.
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. Ever since I made this change, my motivation to write has increased and I’ve seen so much more progress with my writing!
Why I Write 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.
And sometimes other responsibilities trump writing time. I won’t die if I don’t write. I’ll just be sad. I could die if I go long enough without grocery shopping. It’s always a priority for me to feed and care for my family. I spend a lot of time preparing healthy meals for my toddler and husband. I’ve studied a good bit about nutrition in order to feed my family well. If my child is awake, I try to be really engaged in teaching him and helping him develop. I spend a lot of time giving my child opportunities to develop his gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language, and more.
For you, it might be a full time job. Or you are tending to a sick relative. Maybe you are still in school. Whatever reason you have for not being able to write as much as you’d like, don’t let it keep you from writing at all.
With all there is to do in a day, 15 minutes is all I feel that I can realistically spare for my writing. What about you?
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 I will always advocate that any success, any progress matters. No matter how small. Even if during my short writing session I only make a tiny amount of progress, I’m still making progress. I’m still doing more than I was when I wasn’t writing at all.
I also feel accomplished because writing for a short amount of time that I know I can work into my busy schedule is helping me write on a daily basis rather than once or twice every couple of months. Writing consistently is a huge win for me and always leaves me feeling accomplished and proud of my efforts.
No matter how much or how little you invest into your writing, anything is better than nothing. Any progress you make is an accomplishment.
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. I usually stop writing in the middle of a scene. Or my time ends as I figure out exactly what I need to do to fix my plot or improve my character. I simply make myself a note, and I’m ready for the next day. I love ending my writing sessions like this because it encourages me and keeps me excited for the next day. Most days, rather than turning on the computer and wondering where to go next, I feel like I’m picking up right where I left off. It helps me make the most of my short 15 minutes. I don’t usually have to waste any time getting back into my story.
However, I still have my share of days where I spend a fair amount of time staring at my screen, unsure of how to proceed. That is a normal part of the writing process if you ask me. But shorter writing sessions can be one way to reduce how frequently you feel stuck.
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?