A novel in 15 minutes? I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now, but stop that — your face could stay that way. Just hear me out on this one.
My gift to you this season is a formula that will have you writing a draft novel in 15 minutes per day. And I hate to admit this, but it’s actually a re-gift. This calculation was given to me by a dear friend who also happens to be allergic to writing and words in general, truth be told. Only numbers, please. And logic. She got weary of her wordy friend complaining about having no time in the day to work on a novel. There were two blogs to maintain, articles to write, courses to create, and so on. So a few years ago she sent me a calculation to help me stop making excuses and get off my butt and write. It worked — I’ve published a novel a year since then using this formula, along with myriad short fiction pieces, articles, and other content.
After she gave me a minute to look at the numbers (because I am more allergic to numbers than she is to words) she asked me one question:
How long does it take you to write a page?
My writer friends know this is a tough question. If I’m inspired, I might whip out a page in fifteen minutes, but if I’m feeling blocked — hoo boy! That page could take eons. Well, maybe not literally. But it could take a very, very, very, very long time.
The more I puzzled through this, the more I realized that we’re not talking about Stephen King-esque final draft wizardry here. We’re talking writing a draft novel — first draft. And a first draft is all about getting something down on the page to work with later. In that case, it’s safe to say I (and you) could write a page in 15 minutes.
I chose to get up earlier, since I am the morning-est of morning people. Afternoons are less controllable than mornings in my world, and my brain tends to turn off past 9:30 p.m. so night-owling won’t work for me.
Using my stolen bits of morning time I did, in fact, write a novel in 15 minutes a day. And you can, too. All you need to do is schedule it.
This calculation changed my writing life. It was the best gift I’ve been given as a writer and I’m happy to pass it on to you.
Whatever holiday you are celebrating, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Shabe-Yalda, Omisoka or one of the many others that are honored at this time of year, may peace and happiness be yours this season.
If you want to give me something back, leave a comment telling me how you’re going to find time to write your daily page. I can’t wait to hear!
See you on the next page!