Thursday, January 28, 2016

15 Magic Minutes DIY MFA #5

You are looking at my craft book from last semester's term writing contract. (I'll post about term writing contracts with a DIY project next week).
My goal for last semester was to build a writing routine, and Around the Writer's Block is about that.

The most helpful thing in the book is the concept of "15 Magic Minutes." You don't even need a genie. All you have to do is write. For 15 minutes.
"But Beth, I sit down, stare, at my computer and the 15 minutes is gone before I get a word out."
That's fine. You showed up. That's all that matters. (As long as you weren't on facebook during those 15 minutes).
The idea is that we all say we don't have time to write, and between school, family and day jobs, many of us REALLY DO NOT have time to write.
But we kill 15 minutes on Facebook, easily. So if you quit looking for an hour to write, you can make time to write. And if you ignore everything else during those 15 magic minutes, you'll be surprised at what you can produce. With fifteen minutes of uninterrupted writing time I can often produce a page. That's 250 words. But if I find 15 minutes four times that's 1k!
And you're building a positive habit. The more positive experiences you build with your writing the less likely you are to have writer's block, because your brain is less likely to be programmed for resistance. (That last statement is simplified, but the brain science behind it is explained in the book).

FYI: I wrote this blog post on a 15 minute break at work. That means I had a timer set because I had to be done in 15 minutes.

Where in your day can you find 15 magic minutes?


  1. This is crazy!
    I've been doing this 15-20 minute run to get my 1K/day (as part of my month-ish long challenge) and IT WORKS PEOPLE!

    Thanks for sharing this post (and that title from your MFA reading list), Beth. Will be sure to check it out. :)

  2. I may have to try this until my editing schedule eases up.

  3. Did you really write this post in 15 minutes or did you schedule 15 minutes and possibly go over time? ;) I do love the idea that even showing up for 15 mins (and not checking facebook) counts. Sometimes it can be so hard to even figure out what you are thinking or wanting to say!

    1. Okay. Confession. It actually took 17 minutes and 30 seconds, but that was because I had a false start which became this post So in 17 minutes and 30 seconds I actually wrote two posts.