Photo_19387_20110127It’s curious, but so many people who say they want to be writers of one sort or another–be it fiction writers, bloggers or freelancers–often find themselves doing everything but writing.  There are always good excuses, mainly having to do with time and opportunity, but they are just excuses when you really look at them.I recently had a talk with a friend from work about finding time to do crafts when you are a mom with young kids at home.  She told me that her solution was to promise herself that she would set aside just five minutes a day to craft, no matter what else was going on in her life.  It changed her whole mindset because instead of saying, “I used to do that, but now with the kids I don’t get a chance,” she started saying “I do a little bit each day.” By doing a little bit each day, finished projects begin to appear as if by magic.

It’s not magic, of course, it’s doing what you can when you can, consistently.  This idea can apply very easily to writing also.  You may think you don’t have any time in your day, but more often than not it is because you are looking for a chunk of time when you can sit down and “really” write.  When you don’t find that chunk of time, you get to the end of the day and think, “Well, maybe tomorrow I’ll have time.”

Do you ever have time “tomorrow?” No.  There’s always another “tomorrow” to put things off until.

I heard, in a podcast by Mur Lafferty, about the idea of committing to writing just 250 words a day, every day.  I decided to give it a try.  It’s the same idea as my friend’s five minutes a day, just using word count instead of time.  Do you realize how small an amount that is?  It’s about half a page typed.  A full page if you double-space.

The rule is that you can write about anything, whatever comes to mind, as long as you write.  Sometimes I work on a short story.  Sometimes I journal.  Sometimes I rant.  No matter what I do though, I write at least 250 words a day.  It takes about 5 minutes, although I usually go a bit longer than 250 words because I tend to get carried away with an idea or have more to say about my life than 250 words allows.

So for every one of you who thinks you “don’t have time” to write, I call bullshit.  Do you have five minutes a day?  I’m pretty sure you do.  No one is busy literally 24-7.  No one.  Not even the President.  I’ll bet even he can find five minutes a day, and he has a shitload more stuff to do than you, don’tcha think?  So spend 5 minutes a day writing 250 words and see what happens.

250 words x 365 days per year =91,250 words.  That’s a novel.  If thousands of people can write 50,000 words in one month with NaNoWriMo, you can write 91,250 words a year no sweat.  Just do it 250 words at a time.