Self Talk,  Time Management

Top 10 Reasons To “See” Yourself As A 10 Minute Novelist

Do you see yourself a writer? 

Or is that too much of a jump? How about this question: do you wish to write a book but you don’t know how? Do you want to be called a writer, but you’re not sure you qualify because you don’t have time? 

Maybe the very first step you should make is to change your identity. 

As uncomfortable as it might be, from this day forward, you need to call yourself a writer. Don’t mess around with qualifiers like “aspiring” or “wannabe”. Own it. 

I know that when I started calling myself “the 10-minute novelist” everything changed for me. Because I saw myself doing the little bit that I could on a consistent basis, I knew that I could handle the demands of both my life and my dream. The more tightly I clung to that identity, the easier it was to set the timer and work as I could. It didn’t take long before I had created productive habits in my life, actually finished projects and had this cool brand that served me well.  

James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, wrote: “The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this. The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it. “

That’s exactly what I was banking on when I started writing in 10-minute increments and calling myself a 10 Minute Novelist. My new identity, as simple as it was, made all the difference in the way I began and in motivating me to keep up the habits. 

If you call yourself a 10 Minute Novelist, expect these changes: 

  1. You’re no longer that person who has a dream but has done nothing about it. 
  2. You will make writing a priority.
  3. You’ll understand that writing in a teeny tiny increment is better than writing in nothing at all. 
  4. You will designate space to create.
  5. You’ll have the beginnings of this amazing habit that can snowball into a finished book someday. 
  6. You teach yourself discipline. 
  7. You allow for your creative indulgences even if your schedule is packed and your day job eats your soul. 
  8. You can work on your story without feeling guilty. 
  9. You have a great new tool for fighting writers block. (Just set your timer for 10 minutes and write what you can. More than likely, you’ll want to write more.) 
  10. You can join thousands of other writers around the world who are setting their timers and pursuing their goals, 10 minutes at a time. 

Clear also said, “True behavior change is identity change. You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity.” 

I think you know who you are. Welcome to the club. Now let’s get writing! 

Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.