15 Minute Writing Tasks


Besides writing, my passion is making quilts. Now, this is a complex undertaking and takes time. I’ve learned to break the tasks into small chunks, something doable in only 15 minutes. For example, I cut one fabric one day, another fabric the next. I might sew quilt pieces together one day, and the next day actually iron the seam allowances. Taking it but by bit, it’s easy.

What if you only have 15 minutes a day to write?

Amish Quilts made by 10 year olds.

Maybe you’re one of the writers who has to work an outside job to make a living, and you do major writing on holidays, like Memorial Day. But during the week, you might be able to snatch a 15 minute time block here or there. Or, if you have kids, you only have 15 minutes at a time. Here are some examples of daily writing tasks that anyone can do.


  • Lists of names
  • Description of a character
  • Dialogue: have your character talk about the story plot with his/her best friend
  • Try three different voices for your character


  • Description of a setting
  • Explore how the setting changes with different weather
  • List of actions that a character could take in this setting


  • List of conflicts
  • List of ways to add more tension
  • List of ways to up the stakes


  • Plan a scene by listing the story beats
  • Write the introduction of a scene
  • Write the middle of a scene
  • Write the end of a scene.


  • Read aloud a scene/chapter
  • Edit the scene/chapter for great sensory details
  • Edit the scene/chapter for strong language
  • Edit the scene/chapter for voice
  • Edit the scene/chapter for sentence variety

Novels are complex. But bit by bit, slowly, you can write a novel. If you write one page a day, you complete 5 pages a week (2 days off for Sat and Sun). That’s 20 pages a month, and 240 pages a year. That’s a novel.

You don’t need 40 hours a week, you only need 15 minutes a day.

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  • Jarm Del Boccio
    May 28, 2012

    Great post, Darcy…time for me to bookmark and tweet it!!

  • Darcy Pattison
    May 28, 2012

    Thanks for the Tweet!