7 March 2012

The ten minute hack - Insecure Writer's Support Group

Insecure Writer's Support Group
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This installment of The Insecure Writer's Support Group will hopefully give some of you some help with your productivity.

One of the greatest problems when trying to write is how to find time to write in the first place, and that can be enough of a hindrance to stop your flow before it's started. Something that might come in handy is a technique I found called the Ten Minute Hack.

The Ten Minute Hack is where you wake up and, before you've done anything (have a shower, have breakfast, check your emails) set a timer on your phone or clock for ten minutes. No more, no less. In that ten minutes you write like a demon let loose from the seventh circle of writer hell (they write fast). Write for your fantasy novel, or write some flash fiction, or even write down what you dreamed the night before. Just make sure you write solidly until that timer runs out. Think about what you've managed to achieve in just ten minutes. Think about what you could do with the rest of your day.

It doesn't matter if what you write lacks plot, character development, atmosphere, world building, a solid magic system, or even correct spelling and grammar. The point is that you've written something and you've not even had your first coffee of the morning. Think of it as your own personal mini-NaNoWriMo.


Do you have any writing 'hacks'?




Be sure to check out some of the other participants below, and if you're tweeting about it, use the hashtag  #IWSG to let others know.

44 comments:

  1. I am failing miserably at finding the time to get writing :( I must re-double my efforts! thanks for the tip :)

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    1. Give it a shot - you can do a surprising amount in 10 minutes if you have no other distractions.

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  2. I love the idea of a 10min Hack. I should give it a go. It would make an excellent exercise.

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    1. It works with reading as well as writing. I'm doing the 10 minute hack to get though some reading before I start my morning blogging. It's working quite well so far :)

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  3. I love the idea, but is it possible to write with your eyes only half open?

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    1. Ha! Maybe you could make yourself a coffee beforehand then :)

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  4. Try it when all else fails.
    From Nov 11 been trying to get in 500 words a day, working part time helps.
    I use word prompts, news clips and images to get the muse to oblige.
    Saw your comments on quite a few blogs, decided to check out and follow, hope you don't mind.

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    1. Well met, Rek :) 500 words a day is a good goal - how's it going so far?

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    1. It's really useful. I'm going to change it up and use it for more than just reading. I've some ideas for a webcomic script that I want to write - this will be perfect for it!

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  6. I am going to have to try this. Maybe it will help me find my lost writing mojo. Thanks for sharing, there maybe be hope for me yet. :)

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    1. Good luck Mel :) Even if it's not for you, it's only 10 minutes lost :)

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  7. 'In that ten minutes you write like a demon let loose from the seventh circle of writer hell (they write fast).'

    That made me smile.

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    1. Not just writing, it works for reading and exercise too. Though the exercise demons are just plain weird.

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  8. I don't do it before I do anything else in the day, but I recently discovered 750words.com, which has been really helpful in getting me to write something each day. Lately I haven't had the brainpower to work on something fictional, but I do at least write something, even if it's blog posts, random ramblings, and so on. Assuming my cats aren't being little distracting terrors at the time, I can usually get the 750 words done in about 10 minutes, going full-tilt. It's a really useful site.

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    1. Nice! I'll have to check it out. 750 words in 10 mins is impressive. At that rate you can get a full novel done in 3 months!

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  9. That's a very cool idea. I'll have to try it out sometime.

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    1. I highly recommend it. The idea is that once it becomes a habit, once the 10 minutes are up you'll be in full swing and will carry on for an hour if you have the time spare.

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  10. I like your cunning plan! I'm going to try it. I used to do this when I was doing BuNoWriMo last year - two 45 min hacks, starting at 6am, punctuated by a cup of coffee. Worked wonders, and yet I dropped it like a stone as soon as I could!
    Lx

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    1. Nicely done! Thankfully this isn't as grueling, but I could do with a more strenuous hack to get myself in gear.

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  11. Love this idea! Easy to try out too--ten minutes is not very intimidating!

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    1. It'll be a breeze; good luck trying it out!

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  12. You know what? I'm gonna do that. Writing is falling behind due to work, etc.. Maybe first thing for just 10 minutes will help get me going.

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    1. Good luck with it! It's really helped to get my reading back in gear, so it'll work just as well with writing :)

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  13. I've done 15 minutes challenges like that, but never first thing in the morning... I really like that idea. It would be an awesome way to start the day for sure. Thanks!

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    1. Once you get pas the "I NEED COFFEE" stage you wake up surprisingly quick. Besides, in that half dream phase you might come up with some interesting plot devices.

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  14. It sounds like a good idea but I can't even talk for the first 30 minutes after I get up let alone actually think.
    I am very good at taking the time between 7 and 8 at night to write. I manage it almost every day.

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    1. That's awesome, and understandable that the morning thing isn't for you. It takes a little while to get into the swing of it, but I'm naturally an early bird so it suits :)

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  15. I don't really have any writing hacks. I prefer sitting down to write when I have more structure and a destination in mind. But I can appreciate the desire for others to hone their craft through enforced rigid times despite any planning.

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    1. Sometimes, writing by the seat of your pants can be quite fun :) I understand the need for structure though - the 10 minute sessions are good but you wouldn't be able to write an entire novel that way. It'd be too weird to read.

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  16. I'd consider my whole first draft somewhat of a hack! I usually write in hour-long blocks.

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    1. You mean you were working before having a coffee in the morning? Kudos to you, I can barely function.

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  17. That sounds like a great idea! I'd heard of using a timer before, but never so early in the day; it must be a good brain exercise.

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    1. It's a nice way of waking your brain up rather than walking around in a daze for an hour plus each day :)

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  18. I'm not sure I'm considered alive in those ten minutes :)

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    1. I know what you mean. Maybe if I hooked up a coffee maker to my blood system so I'd get just enough zest to be awake as soon as I get out of bed...

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  19. I never write first thing in the morning because I simply don't have time. But the ten-minute exercise sounds good.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. That's fair enough. If you can spare 10 minutes at some point, I'd suggest giving it a go. It's pretty good.

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  20. I've just started doing this, it's one of the tasks given to us in the Open Uni course I'm doing. It's funny reading over them later in the day. Wakes you up as well which is great if you're prone to lying in! :)

    Universal Gibberish

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    1. Nice! What's the course you're doing? I'm usually up at 6am every day so a 10 minute power read is a good way to wake me up properly!

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  21. When I'm having trouble [procrastinating] I find short bursts help me ease into the writing. It's a great technique. I have a schedule I try to follow to carve out that time.

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    1. I didn't think about it as a procrastination tool. Nice tip :)

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  22. I love morning writing! Especially when I'm on the first draft, excited like heck about the story, it's no trouble to get up at 5 am and write for an hour or so. Then I get mad because I have to stop writing and go to work...

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    1. 5am?! Wowza, you're a Viking! I think during A-Z I'll stop reading and do writing instead (there'll be no space to review for that month so it's a good chance to do so). Morning writing will definitely be for me :)

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Thanks for commenting! Feel free to ask any questions you like here; I'll do my best to respond to every comment here.

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