10 Minute Writer

Confessions of a Busy Mom Who Became an Independent Novelist

How To Write In Very Small Increments — A Refresher Course (Part One)

At the beginning of this blog, I was determined to make my dreams come true, even though I had five small children, I homeschooled, I made all my meals from scratch and I had an addiction to Facebook. I decided I was not going to wait until the house was empty to find my happiness in writing. I was going to do it now. I still think it’s possible for the busiest of people to carve out a little time daily to do something they love — it just takes vision, creative use of time and space, and discipline, but it can be done.

Then I discovered Nanowrimo and saw that I could apply my small goal skills to meet a huge goal — one of 50K words in a month. I did this, twice. THREE TIMES! And even though Nano is months away I thought I’d get out these little tips and dust them off and see if they can get me and maybe my readers a little help now.

Here are the first five tips in a series of ten, with links to the original posting about how to do it.  I’ll share the rest next week!

1. Delegate Your Responsbilities: You don’t have to do everything! This is exactly why I have a lot of children, so we can share the love that is household chores. It’s only too bad that I didn’t give birth to fully grown tween girls (my girls are the best and work almost as hard as I do!)

2. Reward Yourself After An Unpleasant Task With A Little Writing Time I find that I’m a lot more efficient with my housecleaning when I realize that at the end of it, I get to write. So race yourself. Can you fold that basket of laundry in ten minutes? Can you clean that bathroom in seven? It’s not about quality here, people, it’s about getting the chores done so the creative stuff can take place!

3. Train Your Children To Respect Your Passions Little ones can grasp that Mom needs ten minutes, but they can’t get that Mom needs two hours. Make it manageable for them, and it will pay off big for you later.

These are my five biggest fans celebrating my passions with me!

These are my five biggest fans celebrating my passions with me!

4. Use Caller ID or Voice Mail to Manage Your Time If your friends can’t understand this, perhaps they need to become an unsavory character in your novel.

5. Rethink Television Just think about how much writing you would get done if you skipped Two And A Half Men!

In the last four six years that I’ve practiced this 10 Minute method, I’ve written one magazine article, one e-book, maintained this blog, set up my 10 Minute Reader facebook page, tweeted consistently and wrote two novels. I also homeschooled my five children, baked an average of five loaves of bread a week, kept my house clean, did an average of two loads of laundry a day, went weekly to church and the library, hiked, read about 25 50 books a year, and watched too many episodes of Glee. I am NOT telling you this to boast in my accomplishments, I’m just telling you that if I can find the time to write then ANYONE can.

So set your timer and GO! You’ll be so glad you did.

And people, please. Don’t do what this one associate of mine does. She complains to me every time she sees me that she doesn’t have time to write, but she pins dozens of pins on Pinterest every single night. Every.Single.Night. Don’t do this. Pinterest will always be there. Your time won’t.

Got any other great time saving ideas? I’d love to hear them!

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6 Responses to “How To Write In Very Small Increments — A Refresher Course (Part One)”


  1. You’re my hero! I feel like such a slacker now. Great post. : D


  2. Great post! I will utilize some of these ideas. My biggest enemy is myself, in that I feel often as if I need huge chunks of time in which to concentrate and write – but you’re right, I don’t! Thanks for sharing the inspiration.


  3. awesome post and very true in regards to TV watching for me. I have started to forego TV watching (especially since I have a DVR – I mean that’s what its for!)


  4. Great post!

    I find that time away from the idiot box leads to more productivity haha. You know how easy it is to get wrapped up in your favorite show.

    Your journey inspires me wow.

    P


  5. Love this, Katharine. I write for a living and squeeze in my own writing–poetry mostly–around the edges. I’ve been thinking and writing a lot lately about getting real work done in 10- and 15-min spaces (here’s a recent piece: bit.ly/X4MVGj ) , and I’m excited to see how *you* do it. My timer is my best friend. ;-)

  6. Katharine

    Nice to meet you! YAY for timers! I’d love to hear more of your thoughts about how this is working for you. Do you think I could interview you in a few weeks about your success?

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