Perils of a Mom Writer,  Self Talk,  What 10 Minute Novelists Means To Me

What It Means To Be A 10 Minute Novelist

A 10 Minute Novelist is a time-crunched writer with big, big dreams. I’ve been a 10 Minute Novelist for nine years now. Despite having five children, homeschooling, baking my own bread and doing ridiculous amounts of laundry, I know what being a 10 Minute Novelist means. 

You Don’t Have High Expectations

If you had high expectations, then you’d be in a cabin in the woods or have hours to yourself or even a locked door. Nope. You’re a 10 Minute Novelist. That means that you get what writing time you can, when you can.

What It Means To Be A 10 Minute Novelist
What It Means To Be A 10 Minute Novelist


Your Daily Results Are Messy 

While you try to keep the story straight with all its plot twists and action, you also try to juggle a family meal and soccer practice and what your elderly parents need and whose homework needs to be checked. You lose your place. You forget plot points. You change your main character’s name six times. But messiness is a sign of life. If anyone understands that, it’s the 10 Minute Novelist.

You’re Not Afraid Of The Daily Fight To Find Time

There is not great art to finding time. It’s messy. It’s impulsive. But it is like you have a super power. You’ve trained your brain and your fingers like the rebels in Concord and Lexington to be ready at a minutes notice. When you sit down, you make the most of your time at the computer. Or at least you try.

I am a 10 Minute Novelist and I Have Amazing Friends
I am a 10 Minute Novelist and I Have Amazing Friends


You’re Not Afraid Of the Daily Fight To Find Words

Sometimes your antagonist only dreams about causing the kind of grief your pet, child or family necessities cause you. But that’s not the point. The point is that you have made an effort to pursue your dreams today in the smallest of bits. Something will come of this session. Even if it is only the reassurance that this is important. Those little bits of words and phrases will join together. Those sentences will become scenes. Those scenes will increase in their frenzy and emotion. Those scenes will become acts. And you will have a story. Oh, yes of course it’s messy. But it’s there. And it wasn’t there ten minutes ago.

You’re Humble

While you do have aspirations of greatness, you also have to do laundry. While you wrestle with each verb and noun, you also wrestle with the dog to get in the car so you can take him to the vet. You have material at your fingertips, especially if you write comedy, because the toddler decided to take off all her clothes in the middle of the Kroger. You have this safety net that keeps you from becoming too self-absorbed and isolated in your art.

Every fear is based in a lie.

You Have A Vast Cheering Section

And as much as you’d like to think isolation is a good thing, it is rarely healthy. You have new friends who are in situations just like yours. (And if you don’t, the Facebook group, 10 Minute Novelists, is just a click away!) You have a wealth of information from other writers whose knowledge and experience can assist you. Do you have an #AuthorHappiness? We want to cheer with you! Are you having a tough time? We’ll give you a hug!

Your Doubts and Fears Are Getting Weaker

They used to be there. Who do you think you are? Isn’t being a mom enough? Only selfish people want to pursue their dreams! You’ve never been very good. You don’t know what you’re doing. No one will like what you have to write!  You’ve realized that you are the only writer who has thought that. Instead of believing those little voices, you tell yourself the truth. My dreams deserve 10 minutes! 

You Often Feel Like Giving Up. But You Don’t.

Because you’re a 10 Minute Novelist you look at the disaster that was yesterday, or the rejection letter or the bad critique and then you write about it. You may channel all that pain or frustration into a scene or character (in 10 minute increments,  of course) and create art out of pain. You don’t let the suckiness of life keep you from writing. You understand that this journey to publication and possibly fame and fortune is a bumpy one. You understand that all writers, all successful writers have had to face discouragement after discouragement.  You give it all you’ve got, but you don’t beat yourself up if all you had today was a measly 83 words.

Why Can't I Find Time To Pursue My Dreams?
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You Have A Realistic Future

You have a new confidence and vision as you see your dreams come together day after day. You’ve received practical tips on how to find more time. You have new skills for word craft that you didn’t have before. You have a standard before you that is clear — until now it’s been rather fuzzy. You have defined to yourself what success really is and you see the steps are to get there.

Your Only Competition is Yourself

You may hate taking criticism or suggestions, but you’re open to improvement.  You have a unique journey into the world of writing and no one can say to you this is the best way for you.  You can taste victory and it’s doubly sweet because of all the struggles you’ve had to face. You’re not afraid to laugh. You enjoy the company of the other writers around you and doesn’t look at them as competitors, or that their success takes away from your own.

What 10 Minute Novelists Means To Me
What 10 Minute Novelists Means To Me

It is a very humbling honor for me to lead over 1100 writers worldwide who call themselves 10 Minute Novelists. They do all these things with grace and joy. They are my #AuthorHappiness.

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.