Saturday, July 24, 2010

5 Minute Folders

My reality check came to visit this week. All those lofty postponed plans to write all summer haven't materialized. What I have been doing is worthy and necessary as well, but didn't include much writing. So, where to go from here? I thought of a few suggestions to share that might help you get those fingers moving during the lazy days (in theory, who has time for lazy?!? ) of summer.

I was reading a book by Barbara De Marco-Barrett called Pen on Fire. She was discussing, how as writers, we often want to wait for the perfect writing scenario. An uninterrupted period of peace every day. Those days can be few and far between, so learning to write in snippets is essential.

I've been guilty of being a waiting-writer, and am realizing you can do a lot in 5 minutes! I tested out this theory with my new 5 minute folders created in Word. I have tons of 5 minutes in my life, but can rarely eek out a 3 hour chunk. My world is full of scraps of papers, ideas, and observations- but they aren't in a one stop shop. Opening a new Word document, I sat down and just wrote a paragraph about a person I observed. Threw that paper away. It felt great! I am on to something here. Another folder might be labeled "Sounds" and all the snatches of descriptions can go here. Now I might make a folder about "Expressions" and start choosing a person a day just to keep my mind moving, and describe how someone comes across while speaking. Suddenly, I am pumped again about the writing, the kind that fits into my reality...words that come to fruition, and aren't in the limbo of my "Maybe Tomorrow" mental folder. 5+5+5+....

One day the work is complete, 5 minutes at a time.


  1. Cool idea! And what's great is if you come up with a 5 minute thing you really like, you can always incorporate it into something bigger you write, like a novel!

  2. Very good idea to keep plugging away. Any spare minute is worth using.