In my Creative Writing in 2011 article I challenged all of you (and myself) to write something every day. “But wait!” I hear you say, “I have a job and I have a family to support! I don’t have time to write new stories every single day!” Well, join me after the cut to find out how you can make the most out of just five minutes of writing.
The next time you have some free time on your hands, take a pen and a sheet of paper, and sit down. Ready? Write! Don’t think about it, just do it. Whatever comes to you goes down on paper. You can write fiction, or just document your thoughts and opinions. Let go of your inner editor, it doesn’t matter what the quality of this is.
Now, extraordinary poetry is hardly made in five minutes, but much like freewriting, you do not need to worry about quality too much here. Write a short poem (for example a haiku) a day.
3. Minute novels
Have you ever heard of these curious little stories? They take just a few minutes to read, and are often strange, almost surrealistic in nature. If this sounds like fun to you, why not try your hand at writing some? Approach it as you would when starting new book: first drafts aren’t perfect. Get your ideas down and finish the draft in just a couple of minutes, then place it away for later inspection.
4. Keep a Diary
If you’re not that big on creative writing right now, you could keep a diary – your own, personal little blog. Write a little something there every day, be it a thought or an experience you picked up during the day. You can also keep your daily freewriting, poetry or minute novels within the covers of a book.
Some of us can remember our dreams uncannily well. Are you one of those people? If you are, you could try writing a dream diary instead of a regular diary. This works especially well if you’re a morning person: write your dream down immediately after you wake up, and head off to work knowing that your daily writing session is done.
6. Keep a blog
I also suggested this in my Creative Writing in 2011 article, so I will keep this brief. Start a small blog. If you are short on themes, create a blog where you can upload your freewriting, your poetry, your minute novels or your dreams. Don’t worry too much about audience, but focus on updating every day. Alternatively, you could set up a twitter account where instead of tweeting about what you’re up to, you add 100-word stories and poems.
Whatever you choose to do, be it one of these exercises or something entirely different, remember to relax and have fun with it. There are difficult days when the words just refuse to come and everything you try seems to go wrong. Don’t worry too much about those days – worst case scenario, you don’t write for one day. That’s okay. You will still write for 364 days this year.
Photos by graur codrin.