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?
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.