When we commit ourselves to writing for some part of each day we are happier, more enlightened, alive, lighthearted and generous to everyone else. Even our health improves. –Brenda Ueland
I headed into National Novel Writing Month knowing that I probably wouldn’t finish. But I wanted to tap into the energy of the month to get a good head start on my next book project.
I had a similar goal last winter when I signed up for my first 5K: I wanted to run more. I knew that training for a race would help me do that.
Running experts talk about the 10 percent rule: increase your mileage by just 10 percent a week in order to remain injury free. Why? Because most running injuries come from overuse—doing too much, too fast. Then I found an interesting article by Matt Frazier, Rethinking the 10 Percent Rule for Increasing Mileage. Frazier experimented with a new training schedule:
- Run every day.
- Start with just 20 minutes every day.
- Each week, increase the length of the run by 10 minutes.
- Do less when you need to, but not more.
So what does this have to do with writing? Frazier’s plan for running training works for writers as well. We could create a similar writing plan:
- Write every day.
- Start with just 20 minutes a day.
- Each week, increase your writing time by 10 minutes.
- If you need to, do less. Skip a day. But don’t do more.
As National Novel Writing Month wraps up, many of us still have projects to complete (or start). Frazier’s plan of tiny steps—just 20 minutes a day—can help us start and finish our next writing project.