Sunday, February 27, 2011

10 minutes that changed my life

I don't have the greatest amount of will power in the world. [insert audience laugh track] But I have come up with ways to make myself follow through on a project.

For example, I have written six novels. I also wrote six children's books and six short stories. Put 'em all together and you get 666 and therein may lie the problem to my difficulty in getting published, but I digress.

Do you have any idea how challenging it is to write a novel? You have to scope out the plot, come up with characters, create a time line, make sure you know where each character is at any given point in time, because chances are, there will be flashbacks and people's paths will cross...and that's just for starters. The actual writing of each chapter takes a very long time. In total, it is difficult to write a complete novel in less than a year. If it's an historical novel or something that involves a lot of background research, figure on two or three years, minimum.

That means you sit down at the computer each morning thinking, "Holy crap! I can't do this!" So I used to say, "Well, dj, just sit here for ten minutes and write what you can. Work on chapter three a little. Edit that last scene you wrote yesterday. Whatever. Just tough it out for ten minutes. If after ten minutes, you still think you cannot possibly work on this today, then you can get up and come back to it tomorrow."

In the decades that I've been using this Ten-Minute trick, I have never walked away. I use the Ten-Minute technique to get me through writing, yarn-winding, filing documents, counting inventory, eating broccoli, clipping my toenails, exercising, etc.

dj runnels


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