Friday, December 16, 2016

Five Minutes

As you may have noticed, I have successfully updated this blog after a little over a year of silence.  One entry I’d already written, to be fair, but I also restarted with new material.

The thing that held me back was the lack of time.  I am currently working two jobs, sometimes three depending on the season, and I still have my Ten Thousand Flowers Project to attend to, as well as learning guitar and writing fiction.  Finding an hour or two, as most writing advice recommends, is not something I can do on a daily basis.  Even twenty minutes is too much to ask most days.

So I experimented with five.  Five at minimum, sometimes more.  My technique is to sit down to work and glance at the clock.  I calculate five minutes from there and start to work.  Periodically I check the clock and stop when I’ve hit the five minute mark.  Sometimes I get so absorbed in what I’m writing I breeze past five minutes.  The point is to do something every day, and a minimum of five minutes a day is something I can fit in even on the most cramped of days.

Five minutes a day has gotten me seven thousand words and counting into a short story that may be a novella by the time I’m done with it.  Five minutes a day allowed me to update all five of my blogs, including this one--some of which hadn’t been updated in years.  Five minutes a day is undemanding, hard to talk oneself out of and surprisingly effective.

The trick is to find that five minutes every single day.  Five minutes every once in a while won’t get you very far.  I print out a calendar sheet every month (so I don't feel so bad about writing on it) and check off every day that I write.  Some days I miss now and again but they’re generally days when I’m hardly at home.  But at only five minutes, it’s very easy to make it a daily discipline.  Five minutes a day adds up to about two and half hours a month, which is better than resolving to write an hour a day and never doing it.  You’d be amazed how much you can get done in the space of five minutes and how quickly five minute days can add up.

So if you’ve been wanting to write and you’re having trouble finding the time, give five minutes a day a try.  It may get you farther than all those unfulfilled resolutions ever will.