It may seem like a strange thing to hear a full-time writer say but it is truly embarrassing just how often I don’t have time to write. At least I don’t have time to write something new. I’d been 50% of the way through my scene outline for Iron Mountain since early December. But it all came to a halt when I landed the contract with Redline. Gotta finish that paying work.
But I couldn’t find time to squeeze it in after I met that deadline. I had Christmas to prepare! And then New Years. And the boys were home. I’d get my blog posts done. I’d get a tweet put up. My two daily Spanish lessons on Duolingo? Check. I’d even spend 5 minutes picking up in my office. But actually working on something new?
Nope. There just wasn’t enough time in my work day.
Fortunately my writing buddies Cindy and Kris reminded me how a third friend works in a new project. She works on it ten minutes a day. Unless she is in the final crunch on a contracted book, she works on that new project for 10 minutes. She might be doing research. Or creating an outline. Or working on chapter 1. She might also be sending out queries to agents, preparing a pitch for an editor or getting ready to travel. No matters. She fits in that new project for 10 minutes a day.
Ten minutes a day. That’s how long I spend on Duolingo and that’s not how I make my living. Certainly I could find 10 minutes (20 minutes total) for two new projects — Iron Mountain (YA science fiction) and a new nonfiction project that involves a cave.
And you know what? Once I decided that it was possible and that I was going to do it — no excuses — I’ve managed to do it for most of a week. I’m almost 3/4 of the way through my scene outline now and I’ve done a chunk of the research on my new nonfiction. I even shook loose two experts that I don’t even need yet.
Ten minutes a day. It may not seem like much but its moving my projects forward. It can work for you too.