Minimalist writing

It happens every time.

Every time I get into something resembling a routine with writing, life takes over and I lose the momentum. Sometimes it’s personal troubles (heartbreak, health worries). Other times (now) it’s taking on a scary new job that is taking up every spare minute I have and more. I needed the new job; I needed to change something about my work. But still, it’s frustrating. I put “spend an hour on novel” on my to do list each Sunday, and somehow the next Sunday rolls around and I still haven’t managed to write.

This week, I got desperate enough to try something different. At the moment, when I’m still getting to grips with the new job and doing the mountains of preparation it requires, taking an hour out to write simply looks too much. That’s an hour I could spend planning lessons, or catching up on much-needed sleep. Even half an hour looks like too much at the beginning of the week, when the pressure is greatest…and by the time the pressure’s off (Thursday-ish), I’m too exhausted. So I thought about what period of time would not be too much, and came up with…ten minutes.

Ten minutes. It sounds ridiculous – what can you get done in ten minutes? Well, more writing than I’ve managed in the past few weeks, apparently.

Monday – ten minutes on the YA novel. 191 words.

Tuesday – ten minutes on the Depressing Literary Novel (TM). Planned the motivations of one of the main characters.

Wednesday – ten minutes on the YA novel. 202 words.

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s words/thoughts that I wouldn’t have if I’d still been pressurising myself to write for half an hour a day. Obviously, I hope I’ll be able to spend more time on writing in the near future… but in the meantime I can’t express how relieved I feel to be back at it.

Ten minutes. A tiny amount of time, but enough for now.

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