Last fall, I wrote an article called, “Fifteen Minutes a Day” based on a wonderful idea I found on author Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog. She challenged writers to write fifteen minutes a day (WFMAD). That’s it. There were no additional rules, no word count goals, no projects to complete—just write for fifteen minutes every single day.
This fall, faced with busier than usual days and the desire to write more, I’m revisiting that idea. I have a few more ideas about how to make the 15-minute a day chunks work. Here’s how:
1. Schedule the chunks. I know, I know—scheduling fifteen-minute writing sessions seems weird. But I’ve noticed that when I schedule the smallest tasks—like returning phone calls, making appointments, or answering email—they tend to get done. Besides, if you put writing on your to-do list and then do it, you will be able to check it off!
2. Choose a project. Make a plan at the beginning of each week about what you want to work on during the fifteen-minute chunks. I avoid the blank page like the plague. Instead, I make sure I know what I’ll be writing and even do a bit of prewriting so that when the writing time starts, I have some idea what I’m working on.
3. Get ready. Set out your writing notebook or open your work-in-progress file before you get to your 15-minute writing time. Coach Shawn Achor believes that if we can shave 20 seconds off the beginning of a task, we are more likely to follow through. For me, that means I don’t have to hunt for the document I’m working on—it’s open and ready.
That’s it! If you can do this five times this week, you’ll have written for 75 minutes this week. At the end of a year, you’ll have written for more than 60 hours. Who knows what you can accomplish in fifteen minutes a day!
Note: The original post provided six ideas for how to find that extra fifteen minutes in your busy day. Check it out for more support!
Your turn: How do you add more writing time to your day?