Bloggers, 15 Minutes Can Change Your Life by Beth Barany

In this post, learn how much writing you can do in 15 minutes.

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Beth here. Hi! It’s 1:35pm and I sit in a warm cafe drinking tea and staring out the window. Okay, I’m not actually staring out the window. I’m writing this blog post and time is running out.

I’ve set the timer in my head (you can use the timer in your phone or your kitchen timer) and I am writing this post.

Why? To demonstrate that you too can write a first draft in fifteen minutes.

Yes, fifteen minutes can change your life. You can go from staring at the blank page to filling it with the minutiae of your life. Or whatever you’d like to say.

Need ideas? To get you started, I would say, “Start with what you know.”

This age-old wisdom that writing teachers hand down to their students is useful in any writing situation. And in the case of writing about our businesses and professions in a blog, writing what we know makes great sense.

Where To Begin

So, where to begin? Well, I suggest writing about something your ideal client would find very useful. A tip of the day, for example.

My tip of the day to you is to set your timer for fifteen minutes and write your blog post.

Remember, it’s a first draft, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Messy First Draft

In fact, allow yourself to write as messily and as incorrectly as possible.

In a previous post, I suggested you block off 20-30 minutes. Go ahead and do that if you can.

I recognize that that amount of time can be daunting for someone not used to writing blog posts, and for someone who may agonize over every email she writes.

That’s why fifteen minutes is much more doable, IMHO (in my humble opinion).

Benefits

Some benefits of writing in this short, contained amount of time:

  • You get to stop in fifteen minutes;
  • You may be surprised at how much you can write, even if you’re a slow typist like me; (I’m at approx. 319 words and have only writing for nine minutes); and,
  • You may be surprised at what you write, since your self-censorship has to (hopefully) take a back seat while you concentrate on pouring out the words.

Should you edit while you write in this timed writing period?

I highly recommend that you don’t edit, but if you can’t help yourself I understand. Sometimes I go back to fix punctuation and spelling. It’s a bit of an OCD thing.

Another Important Rule of This Game: A Judgement-Free Zone

Please don’t judge yourself or your writing.

This fifteen minutes is a judgement free zone.

Allow the words to flow and fill the page.

As I said above, sometimes you may be surprised at what you generate.

What do you do when the fifteen minutes are up?

Stop writing. Breathe.

If you have to, complete your phrase.

If you need to, take a little break to clear your head.

Then, come back to your post, put on your editing cap, and clean up the grammar, clarify your meaning, and prettify your post.

There you have it! 

My fifteen minutes are up and I wrote 518 words (before editing). Time to edit and polish and place a pretty image.

Beth out. Happy Writing!


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(An earlier version of this article was originally posted on BreakfastBlogging.com.)

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