Last week I stumbled on a wonderful idea: author Laurie Halse Anderson challenged writers to write fifteen minutes a day (WFMAD). That’s it. There are no additional rules, no word count goals, no projects to complete—just write for fifteen minutes every single day.
I’ve been talking to a number of writers on Twitter about the challenge of finding time to write in the midst of life: working, partnering, parenting, socializing, and doing the chores! When life gets busy, even fifteen minutes can seem like a lot of time. Here are six ways to find fifteen minutes a day to write.
1. First thing. Write first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed. Before you are fully conscious just grab pen and paper and write for fifteen minutes. (Yeah, you may have to set your alarm fifteen or twenty minutes early.)
2. Last thing. Turn in early and write for fifteen minutes before you go to sleep. Instead of depending on your favorite authors to tell you a bedtime story, tell yourself a bedtime story. Just get those thoughts down on paper.
3. Waiting time. Write while you are waiting in the car to pick up your children from school, soccer practice, or a play date. If you don’t have children, write anytime you are forced to wait. You may not get fifteen minutes all at once, but you will be writing more than you do now.
4. Commercial time. DVR your favorite television shows or commit to watching them online. Devote 15 minutes to writing before you allow yourself to catch up with the Real Housewives of wherever.
6. Connect to current habits. Tie your writing to something else you already do every day. Write during the first half of your lunch hour or your break at work. Write while you are having a morning snack. Write while you are on the bus or train to work.
There you have it, writers. Six ways you can write more today. Make a commitment to yourself and your work and write for fifteen minutes today.
Your turn. What techniques and tricks have you used to get in your fifteen minutes a day? Add your ideas below.