Just 15 Minutes a Day

The problem with undertaking any big project or goal, including writing a novel, is that it feels massive. (Obviously.)

When I tell myself, “I need to write today,” it’s easy for me to have a long list of excuses…

I’m not feeling inspired right now.

I’m tired.

I don’t have time. 

Maybe later.

It’s hard trying to write books and take that passion seriously, while also working a full-time job. Right? Life gets busy, and it’s unfortunately all-too-easy to push aside what I’ve called a “hobby” for years.

But this year, I want to treat writing as another job. Because it’s not just a hobby to me–it’s a passion. And that means it needs to be a priority.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received for taking my writing seriously is to just carve out 15 minutes each day. That’s all. No matter how busy I get, it’s easy to set aside 15 minutes for something, right?

I mean, I spend more time on my phone at the end of the day, doing absolutely nothing productive. Surely I can sit down and write anything, whether it be writing my book or a blog post or whatever else comes to mind, to keep my creative juices flowing.

And you know what?

It’s totally worked. 

In fact, by giving myself a small, manageable writing goal, I’ve consistently written every day since the end of December, usually for longer periods of time than 15 minutes (because once I start, I realize I do have some ideas floating around in my brain and I do have more than 15 minutes right then to dedicate to writing.

It’s kept my momentum going with my book (Silent Kingdom # 3) and, I hope, will help me continue to strengthen my writing skills. It definitely leaves no room for the “I have writer’s block” excuse.

Because even if I write total crap, I can definitely always write something for 15 minutes, and that means…there is no writer’s block.

If you want it enough, you’ll make the time and find the motivation to do it.

What tips or tricks have helped you accomplish a big goal, writing-related or otherwise?

 

Writer’s Block and Mental Fatigue

Oh, you again. My old enemy, writer’s block.

But most of the time, you’re just full of baloney and excuses.

“You don’t have time,” you whisper. “You’re too tired. You’re too uninspired.”

Or, worse: “You aren’t good enough, so why even bother?”

I wonder if Shakespeare ever sat staring at a blank page, hesitating to dip his quill into ink because he was sure no one would ever read what he wrote. Or that it wasn’t good enough. Or that he was too busy.

“I probably should be folding my underclothes right now instead.”

Yeah, Shakespeare. The world would have been far more greatly changed and inspired if you’d spent more time on your chores and less on your writing.

But there are times when I think my “block” is legitimate. Those moments when I really do feel like my brain is screaming for a break. Occasionally work can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, or I am trying to resolve some other problem or have spent a lot of brain energy on something else in my life. Or I’m sick and my brain and body just need rest.

Sometimes, the best cure for writer’s block is to ignore it and write whatever random thoughts spring to mind. You can fix that mess later. 

But not always.

And let’s be honest, you can tell when you’re giving yourself a list of BS excuses vs. when you legitimately need a break.

Sometimes, the best cure for writer’s block is to embrace the fact that you need rest. Take care of yourself. Give your brain a vacation day!

When your brain is rested and ready, you’ll be able to produce better quality work instead of just staring at that blank page or screen like a zombie.

Don’t be a zombie, my friends.