Just Type Furiously.

You want to write that book. You don’t have time. Too many chores, too many bills to pay…you need a log cabin. You need time on your own. You need the writer’s lifestyle.

But actually, what you need is 25 minutes. Not just any 25 minutes – 25 minutes of fastidious, intense, keyboard-pounding, ninja-skill like writing. Every morning. Without fail.

Seriously.

I used to think I needed an hour a day – two hours, probably, to write.

I’d do it one day. The next, I wouldn’t, and I’d be two hours behind.

The next day I’d get some of it in, but not all – and I’d be 3 hours behind.

It was awful. It was manic. It was totally unrealistic and unhelpful.

Since then, I’ve been at the keyboard 25 minutes a day. And it’s incredible. When I give myself this short spurt of time, I typically write what I could in an hour otherwise.

And it’s usually better. Because I don’t have time to be self-conscious, to measure myself, to go back, nitpick, and get stuck in the weeds.

So forget two hours. Forget an hour. Don’t be hare – be a sort of awkward sprinting tortoise. Take the long view. Be realistic and optimistic.

Get on the keyboard, put in your 25 minutes, and run, baby, run.

 

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Posted in Writing.

nick.youthwriter@gmail.com

Nicholas McDonald is a blogger, pastor, and author of the book "Faker: How to Be Real When You're Tempted to Fake it." He studied creative writing and communication at Oxford University and Olivet Nazerene University, and received his M.Div from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Lexington, NC, with his wife and two boys, Caleb and Owen.

2 Comments

  1. This would be easy if you knew what to write. It is gathering the research that takes time: making sure you have all the citations, quotes, flow of thought etc. In fiction you have to know where you wanna go. I cannot just sit down and write out a scene without knowing where the scene is, who is in the scene, and what the scene needs to communicate to advanced the story. Perhaps I am just new at this.

    • Actually, I’ve found there’s a symbiotic relationship between knowing what I want to say and writing it out. I find its much easier to get unstuck in structure/source material when I take the 25 minute dive.

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