Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline

Take 5 Friday: Five Slivers of Time to Write in.

Here at 10MN we are timer champions. We know how to make the most of a 10 minute writing session and we get a lot done in bursts of time.

But what about if you don’t even have 10 minutes? What if you only have slivers of time here and there?

Can you still get any writing done?

Of course! It just takes a different sort of planning.

Note: Please don’t think that I am advocating filling every moment of your day with ‘productivity.’ We all need our rest and only you can know if any given moment is for rest or for work. This process and these time sliver suggestions are for when you want or need to write but you can’t seem to fit it in. My hope is that finding writing slivers give you a feeling of satisfaction about adding creativity to your day. If the idea makes you feel rush or overwhelmed, please don’t try to shoehorn more into your schedule. 

If you’ve decided that writing in slivers of time will serve you well, start by planning in the way I describe. Once you have your plan, look for little windows of writing time like those in the list below.

In the background: a stack of books, a cup of coffee, an antique typewriter, and an antique clock.  In the foreground: a pale yellow circle with the 10 minute novelist logo, and text reading 'Take 5 Friday: Five Slivers of Time to Write In


Decide if you will be writing on your phone, in a notebook or on your laptop and figure out which program or app serves you best. 

Make sure that your chosen writing method will be nearby during your slivers of time. Since you will only have a few minutes to write, do everything you can to set up your device in advance so you can start right away. 

Once that decision is made, you need to identify some possible writing topics. If you are writing for practice, you could make (or print) a list of writing prompts. If you have a work-in-progress, make a list of descriptions you’ll need (character attributes, settings, specific items) and keep them in your phone/laptop or in your writing notebook.

Once you have those things done, when your time slivers appear, you can jump in and work for those few minutes. 

5 ideas for time slivers (but feel free to find your own)

  1. waiting for the kettle to boil or the minute rice to cook
  2. in the car in the drive-through
  3. when you are on hold
  4. while your kid is brushing their teeth
  5. if you’re waiting for something to download

Yes, those bits of time are small and there is prep work involved but it feels good to stay in touch with your writing self even if you only have time to jot down a few words. 

Give it a try and see if it works for you.

And, as always, write on!