Write in Short Bursts Using Your Prompts

Posted 3/11/20 | Updated 7/2/20


Fifteen minutes per day-that's all you need to get started on your book. Chances are, once you set the timer for 15 minutes and begin to write, you won't want to stop. Great! Keep going. Set the timer for another 15 minutes, then another.

Everyone, no matter how busy they are, has these small windows of time into which they can squeeze some writing. One of the biggest misconceptions new writers have is thinking they need big chunks of time to write.

You may think you need a whole day, or a half day, or a weekend in a cabin alone. But then it never happens because even a two-hour period is hard to schedule. Perhaps you have read about a well-published author who writes for several hours each day. You might assume that you, too, should write all morning, or all afternoon, or all day, even.

When you begin a new skill, you take small steps. If you were going to learn piano, you would not start with a Beethoven sonata. You would start with scales. You just need brief chunks of time, say, 15 minutes per day. Brief writing sessions are akin to scales for musicians. Practice, practice, practice. Soon you will be writing for hours.

I heard about a woman who wrote a novel in five minutes a day. Yup, five. Imagine what you could do in 15 minutes! I can usually do two 40-minute sessions of focused writing in a two-hour period. And that's on the good days. That's plenty. One or two of those sessions per week really add up. Start small and build. Don't set yourself up to fail by thinking you need an hour to write. You will work up to that.


This week, write from at least two of your prompts. Use the three-word reflection process (see the exercise in "Glean the Immediate Benefits of Writing" in part one) to see how it feels for you to get started writing.

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