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By The Author’s Writer, January 10, 2023 (Amended 5.16.2023)
©Wendy Scheuring (Human Writer)
Here’s a very simple writing exercise you can do and it only takes 7 minutes!
I call it the 1-1-5 Method.
It is a series of 3 writing exercises actually. The first one takes 1 minute, the second one also takes 1 minute, and the third one takes 5 minutes.
This may not seem like a lot of time. But, actually, quite a bit of writing can happen in one minute.
How can this be so?
Look at each minute you spend writing as an investment. When you do, you will begin to see your writing grow exponentially.
This is the case whether you would like to be an author, write content, or are getting your thoughts together for when you enlist the help of a professional (ghost)writer, editor, or mentor to guide you through the book-writing process.
So, let’s start by doing a simple 1-minute writing exercise.
Sit down in a comfortable place with a piece of paper in front of you and a pen in hand. Yes, you will be writing by hand! Before you set your timer for 1 minute, ask yourself how much you think you can write in that minute? Then, set the timer and begin writing. Make sure you stop writing when the timer sounds!
Writing with pen and paper will help you tap into your creativity!
I did this exercise myself. Now, I do not, in general believe in word counts. I believe in writing quality content and stopping when done. (I don’t believe in writing fluff.) During this first exercise, I wrote only 27 words. And, of those 27 words, 8 of them reminded me of a writing project I needed to pick up that I had put down for a while.
Doing this first writing exercise had given me clarity.
What happened during your first writing exercise? What did you write about?
Now, set the timer once again for 1 minute and write by hand, once again, for that 1 minute. When the timer stops, review what you read. How did it go?
For this second 1-minute exercise, I wrote 21 words, but the content was even more valuable.
Knowing that I was being timed, and knowing what 1 minute felt like, I did not write down complete thoughts. Instead, I wrote a list of ideas. Having less time created more focus for me. What happened for you?
Now, set the timer for 5 minutes and start writing. I know this sounds strange, but that 5 minutes is going to feel like a long time compared to that 1-minute timed exercise.
After I completed the 5-minute timed writing, I wrote 167 words. In those 167 words, I rewrote a scene in my book, seeing it in a completely different light, which was more illuminating, more interesting, more captivating.
Yes, those 7 minutes were a valuable use of time for me.
Having a deadline forced me to get creative.
What else was accomplished?
During the first minute, I eliminated the surface level and extraneous thoughts that had been blocking me.
During the second minute, I was more focused, and so I used my time more wisely writing my ideas into a brief, condensed list.
During the 5-minute timed writing, I was able to re-see a scene in my book that I have been working on and write it more in a more detailed way, more descriptively, more vibrantly.
Doing regular timed writings will help you achieve more focus and clarity.
Writing, in a sense, is an art that requires more focus than it does time. When you can achieve focus, you can write meaningful content in very short periods of time.
So, a minute does matter. When you view each minute of your day as an investment, whether you are writing or engaging in something else, you will not only cherish that time, but will also do everything you can to make that minute count.
The 1-1-5 Method is an excellent precursor to my 21-day writing program called write a book in 21 days: by discovering the story within. You don’t need a lot of time to write a book, but you do need focus during the time you do have. Want to know more?