How I Learned To Write A Novel In Ten Minutes A Day

Can You Really Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day? 

YES! 

In 2006, I decided that despite having five children under eight years old, I would make time to pursue my dreams of writing.

I don’t have an office. Instead I have a kitchen, in which I spend my day homeschooling my five children and baking bread. My interruptions are more numerous than the mateless socks in my endless piles of laundry.

Yet, despite this, I finished my first novel in 2011, I post to my blog three times a week, I contribute to my church’s parenting blog, I tweet, Facebook and make dinner every night.

I decided that my dreams were worth fighting for. I decided that doing something was better than doing nothing. And I decided that if I waited until I had the perfect conditions, I would never get that novel written. I am hardly Super Mom. I get it all done because I do it in ten minute increments.

My imperfect system looked like this: I set the timer on my microwave for ten minutes and then started writing. Once the timer went off, I reset it and emptied the dishwasher or folded a load of laundry or started a meal. I also checked on the children and made sure no one was bleeding. Once that timer dinged, I went back to the computer and wrote a few sentences out. (Woe to the child who interrupts me while I write!)  I do this all afternoon and somehow, everything gets done.

How can I get my family to leave me alone?
I mean, pretty please, with sugar on it?

I developed this system because I wanted to do it all. I wanted to give all to my family and pursue my writing dreams. I knew that if I looked for big chunks of time, it would never come. So my theory was that ten minutes were better than none at all. And if I did this six times, I would have written for an hour.

In 2008, I began a blog, www.10MinuteWriter.com that chronicled my ups and downs in this system. And believe me, it isn’t perfect.

What Happened To 10 Minute Writer?
The Old Blog, www.10MinuteWriter.com, established 2008.

 In 2012, I upgraded to a desk, still in the kitchen, but a desk nonetheless. That summer, I wrote Falling For Your Madness  and self-published it the following Christmas.

How Can My Self-Published Book Make Me Famous?
Cover art by Bree Jordan

 

 

In January of 2013, I entered Falling For Your Madness in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest where it went as far as the quarterfinals. More importantly, because I made a big fuss over it on my blog, I got the attention of the good folks at Hodder and Stoughton ( a major publishing house in the UK.)

 

What publisher is releasing Write A Novel In 10 MInutes?
They like me! They really like me!

 

They approached me to write a non-fiction book on how I could accomplish writing dreams in very small increments. In the fall of 2013, I signed a contract for the book Write A Novel In Ten Minutes (and subsequently had to get an agent! I also signed with Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary!)  But then,  I had to actually write the book!

In March of 2014, drafting of Write a Novel In Ten Minutes began. Unfortunately, while carrying a bunch of coats down a flight of stairs, and not looking to see where I was going, I fell and broke my ankle in two places. So what does this mean for a mother of five? Someone else is doing the laundry.

It was during this season of being off my foot, and on my computer, that I began to meet people all over the world who were just as time-crunched as I was.  When I met them on Twitter, and they saw my handle, 10 Minute Writer,  they often said something like, I wish I had ten minutes to write! Or, how can you find even ten minutes? Or, Can you really accomplish a lot in a little amount of time? I decided it was time to get all of these people in one place, like a Facebook group!

Where can I meet writers online?
Hey! This matches this website!

On March 28,  2014, the Facebook group 10 Minute Novelists was born.  By fall of 2014 over 500 time-crunched writers of all kinds, from all over the world, were in it.  The active, lively group had three goals: tips, encouragement and community. They accomplished these goals through weekly chats on Facebook and Twitter, daily memes like #MondayBlogs, Buddy Tuesday and #AuthorHappiness. As the group grew, it became evident that these writers (not just novelists) found value in crowd sourcing their knowledge about writing, publishing, marketing and social media. Group members are encouraged to engage with each other to solve problems in any of these areas, offer advice, critique each others’ work and build relationships. 10 Minute Novelists became far bigger than a blog and far better than a fan club.

Where Can I Promote My Blog?
Share your latest blog post on our group page. Use the hashtag #MondayBlogs

With my staff of volunteers, I moderate the Facebook group and lead the chats, but I have a lot of help. Other members lead book clubs, organize critique groups, hold chats in more convenient time zones and create group file sharing. The website, www.10minutenovelists.com is the extension of the Facebook group and serves the same three purposes: tips, encouragement and community. Writers of all kinds will find valuable information here.

Facebook group 10 Minute Novelists
Facebook group 10 Minute Novelists

 

 

But the real fun is over on Facebook. Join us there: 10 Minute Novelists. Katharine and her enthusiastic friends have proven that writing goals can be accomplished in small, consistent increments.  They’ve also proven that they can have fun doing it.

In  2015,  Write A Novel in Ten Minutes A Day was released! The 60,000 word book has dozens of short exercises on how to set up your workspace, find the right writing tools, organize your time, sculpt your story, determine your genre and plot, develop your characters, organize your three act structure, fine tune your dialogue, revise, edit and then explain different publishing options.

It’s got some fabulous reviews. Read them here! 


 

Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day  is a writer’s guide to pursuing your writing dreams in very small increments of time.

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16 thoughts on “How I Learned To Write A Novel In Ten Minutes A Day

  1. A friend recommended this website to me and I find it very interesting and useful.
    I have only one question… can you please tell me how to subscribe for updates? I really don’t want to loose your articles and news; especially now when I know your book will be soon published.

  2. Hi Katherine,

    FYI the Kindle edition of “Write a Novel in 10 Minutes a Day” has some kind of glitch. The text displays in gray. Amazon said they will notify the publisher and the Kindle edition will not be available on their site until the issue is resolved. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, hopefully the publisher can fix it quickly.

      1. It is I who must apologize! The entire book is not gray, just certain parts (the Introduction for instance) and it seems the publisher designed it this way, with some gray text alternating with black text. This was most likely a design choice, and Amazon will keep it up for sale. In other words, there is nothing to be “fixed”. It looks great on the free Kindle apps for PC and Mac, too.

        I’m sorry for the confusion. This is a gem of a book and if someone is considering the Kindle version I would tell them to get it today!

        1. OH! I’m glad. I have the .pdf version that I proofed and my promo paperback copies, so I never saw the kindle version. Thank you for your kind words. I hope it meets your needs!

  3. Katherine, I found you yesterday through the Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers. Just read your Are you a literary writer? Love at first read. Will be a regular visitor and am passing 10mintuesnovel.com on to my time-challenged writer friends. No need to reply, just wanted to express this happy moment. Thanks for being here.

      1. That’s how I found this, too! I subscribe to Writer’s Digest, and it was in the most recent (May/June) issue. I don’t believe it’s on their website. But I love what you’re doing!

      2. Katherine,

        It was through my print subscription to Writer’s Digest, the May/June 2016 issue. The first section of selected websites, numbers 1-5, were for Creativity. In the second section, Writing Advice, 10 Minute Novelists is the first–number 6!
        It says “Author and time management coach Katherine Grubb wrote a novel in just 10 minutes a day–and her site is chock-full of advice on how you can do it too. her Facebook Group of the same name is an excellent place to connect with other writers sharing tips for time-sensitive writing.”

        I’m not link savy, but know there has to be one.

        Leith

        1. I found it thanks to my friends online! I think the digital version is not yet out. This is a HUGE thrill! You were the first to tell me and I’m still riding the wave of excitement! 🙂

          1. Love these “never happened befores”. Thrilled for you. You may want to contact Baihley Grandison, Writer’s Digest Assistant Editor and author of the 101 best article. The editorial offices phone number is (513) 531-2690 ext. 11241. Email may be writers.digest@fwcommunity.com.

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