Got Five Minutes? Write a Book!
January 25, 2022
Note From Rochelle
For years, I’ve coached individuals on how to blast through writer’s block. But I’ve never taught a class on it.
This week, I am teaching a workshop to help you understand, diagnose, and overcome writer’s block. In “Defeat Writer’s Block” you will learn proven tools to prevent writer’s block. This complimentary class will be held on Wednesday, January 26 at 5:00 PM CT/6:00 PM ET, and I will post the recording for a limited amount of time. Here’s the link to sign up: https://writenowcoach.as.me/writersblock
Today’s tip talks about how to write in five minutes a day.
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Write Your Book in Five Minutes a Day
“If I have ten minutes I use them even if they bring only two lines,
and it keeps the book alive.” – Rumer Godden.
So how do you write when you have no time?
A few weeks ago, I saw this tweet from Neil Gaiman:
“I wrote Coraline at 50 words a night.”
I wrote Coraline at 50 words a night. https://t.co/t5AfEd5Ion
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) December 8, 2021
That inspired me.
And it got me thinking: how could I work on my writing projects in smaller chunks? 50 words at a time or five minutes a day? Here’s how:
Choose a single project. What one piece of writing do you need to work on right now?
I know, it sounds a little odd to schedule a five-minute writing session. But scheduling ensures that you’ll do it. I recommend stacking your writing session with an established habit, like taking a morning coffee break or opening your computer. Here are some ideas
- Do you grab your phone first thing in the morning? Instead of checking out the headlines, write. Use iPhone’s NOTES section or another smart phone tool. You could even dictate your 50 words.
- Do you check email at the same time every day? Before you review your inbox, write for five minutes. You could even write yourself an email.
- Do you eat lunch every day? When you’re done, push aside your dishes and write.
Break your writing goal into tiny chunks. You’re planning for a five-minute writing session, so make the chunks short enough that you can be successful. This step—chunking out the project—takes some time. You may need to steal the time from your evenings or weekend, but it will be worth it. I promise. At the end of your chunk-making step, choose one chunk to work on at your next writing session.
A “chunk” might look like this:
+Write a scene about characters meeting each other for the first time.
+Write paragraph about first experience meditating.
+Write list of exercise benefits.
Pro tip: If any “chunk” seems too big, break it down into smaller chunks.
Put your brain to work on the chunk. This is one step that can be done while folding laundry, shoveling snow, making dinner, exercising, or driving to work. All you do is ponder, “If I were to write this chunk, what would I say?” Then let go of the thought. Let your brain chew on it while you do whatever it is you do during the day.
Find a friend, coach, or group to help you stick to your goal. I have two groups starting soon, and I’d love to have you join us.
The Writing Accountability Group will focus on helping you overcome distraction and procrastination, sustain focus, and finish work. This is ideal for writers who want to complete projects, but it can be helpful for anyone who struggles with distraction or focus.
The Writing Goddesses Group gives you the opportunity to have your work read and commented on every other week by me and your colleagues. Our meetings give you the opportunity to stay accountable to your goals and get help when you get off track.
Your turn: How have you found ways to sneak in five minutes of writing time?