Only read this if you want to get serious about your big, big dreams.
Are you one of those flighty types who can’t settle down? Then this blog post isn’t for you. If you want to write a book because everybody’s doing it, then this blog post is not for you. If you read J.A. Konrath’s account of how his independently published books have practically made him a household word (and a truck load of money) and you think you can do it just like he did, then this blog post is not for you.
This blog post (and the website, and the Facebook group) is for the people who will do what it takes to pursue their dreams, who are willing to think through their lives, their responsibilities and their fears to come up with a practical plan to work slowly, ten minutes at a time, to accomplish it.
If you think that novels just kind of write themselves, please, for the sake of all that’s beautiful, go to this blog instead.
Writing a novel takes hard work. It takes order. It takes discipline and planning. It takes courage and determination and tenacity. Anyone can do it, even if they have only ten minutes a day. (How do I know this? I wrote a novel in ten minute increments. Hence the name of this blog!)
So, if you’re serious, then you MUST HAVE these things. Ready?
1. You need a consistent place to work. (Your office? Your home computer?) My workspace used to be the end of my kitchen counter, which was perfect for watching the kids while I worked, but not so perfect when the spaghetti sauce went flying. Now I have a beautiful corner office in my bedroom. This is where I go to work. And I can work for longer than ten minutes at a time!
2. You need a timer. If you can only work for ten minutes a day, then you need to time yourself. Use your phone, your microwave, an egg timer, three songs on Pandora, whatever it takes.
3. You need a vision. What is your raison d’etre for writing? Is it a cozy mystery? A romantic comedy? A Amish vampire dystopian series? Take more time to study your genre, learn craftsmanship, and be a student of writing, so can accomplish this big, big dream of yours. I want to be a novelist (actually I want to rule the world, but I’ll start with the world of fiction) so I have to set aside ten minutes daily to take one more small step toward my big vision.
4. You need some sort of organization. You need a document file or a notebook or something that you can find easily when it’s time to write again. If it takes you 20 minutes to find the file, you’re kind of missing the point. You need to be able to sit down, type like a crazy person, and then get back up again.
5. You need community. This is perhaps the most important thing on this list. You need to know other writers. You need to learn from them. You need to be encouraged. You need to share in each other’s defeats and victories. How do you get into one? Oh, it couldn’t be easier! (Click here to join my group, 10 Minute Novelists).
6. You need to put your butt in the chair and work. Sounds daunting? It’s okay. All you need is ten minutes!
This is how it begins. Little by little, you work at that goal and someday, maybe not too long from now, you’ll have a story, perhaps a novel. Then beta readers, then you’ll be talking to graphic designers and posting your reviews. You’ll be a novelist!
Your big, big dream can be accomplished if you have those six things and you’re willing to work.
And it is so worth it.
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Katharine Grubb is a homeschooling mother of five, a novelist, a baker of bread, a comedian wannabe, a former running coward and the author of Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day. Besides pursuing her own fiction and nonfiction writing dreams, she also leads 10 Minute Novelists on Facebook, an international group for time-crunched writers that focuses on tips, encouragement and community.