I’m still taken by surprise at how simply making a decision to commit, that intention to be, can garner such quick results.
Yesterday I did some blog hopping, and found a lot of writer blogs, people working on their novels, finding the time to write every day – and I came away so inspired. Inspired, and with a renewed commitment to my own writing practice, which has been sadly out of tune for the past few months.
So this morning, I download my email, and the first thing I see is an email from a writing friend, with a link to Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on creativity and genius.
Now, I’d watched this video last year. I’d enjoyed it, but at the time, it had just been a fun and entertaining talk. This morning, I seem to be in a different space altogether, and everything Gilbert talked about just clicked with me.
I want to access that creative genius she talks about.
Then I logged onto Facebook, and found this post at Write Anything talking about Laurie Halse Anderson’s Write Fifteen Minutes a Day (WFMAD) challenge.
Perfect timing. Just when I decide to commit to my writing practice, along comes a writing challenge that is a good fit with what I already know. Last year I committed to a writing goal of 20 minutes a day, and the result was the first draft of my WIP, NANTUCKET.
As Laurie puts it:
The rules are simple. In fact, they aren’t even rules. They’re more like guidelines, the Pirate Code of Writing.
1. Commit to write for 15 minutes a day for the entire month of August.
2. Just do it.
Here’s what I discovered last year about committing to 20 minutes of writing a day (which works just as well with 15 minutes a day):
- None of my excuses for not writing have any power against the 20-minutes-a-day idea. 20 minutes is nothing. I know that. All my writing obstacles know that. I can surely, absolutely, carve 20 minutes out of any day, even the most hectic, deadline-driven day.
- It may not seem like a lot of time, but the key is this: you don’t have to stop after the 20 minutes are up. I can’t tell you how many times I’d end up writing for at least an hour, all because I sat down to write for just 20 minutes.
- I can accomplish a lot in 20 minutes. On the days I stuck to the 20 or so minutes, I usually ended up with between 700 to 1200 words. Not too shabby for only 20 minutes, right?
These same things apply to a 15 minute a day goal. In fact, number one is strengthened by making it only 15 minutes.
I already know this works. Twenty minutes a day lead me to the completion of the first draft of a WIP. First time ever. It was a huge milestone in my life. Fifteen minutes will lead to similar wonderful writing results. I know it.
I’m ready for a repeat.
What about you? Want to join me and commit to the WFMAD challenge?