Word Sprints: Writing a Novel 10 Minutes at a Time

Word Sprints: Writing a Novel 10 Minutes at a Time #Writing #WritingTips @JoLinsdell @Writers_Authors

One of the most common excuses for not writing is lack of time. Sure, writing a novel or any other kind of book for that matter, takes time. It takes more than just that though. You have to make writing a priority.

How many times have you hopped on to Facebook and ended up spending at least 10 minutes scrolling through your newsfeed? Use Pinterest? Whole hours can easily go by there. Then there's other distractions like TV programmes, etc... You probably use up several hours of your day doing things like these. Why is it that you then say you don't have time to write?

I'm not trying to make you feel bad for making time for social media, or your favourite TV shows. What I want to point out is that you make time to fit them into your day. Why not make time to fit writing in too?

Whilst you might not have the luxury of being able to write for long periods of time, I'm pretty sure you can fit in a couple of 10 minute sessions throughout the day.

10 minutes is all you need.

Could you write 300 words in 10 minutes? 

Could you fit in 3 10 minute word sprints into your day? 

If the answer is yes, you could be writing at least 900 words with just 30 minutes a day. At that rate you could write a 50K novel in 56 days. That's less than 2 months! 

Those of you taking part in NaNoWriMo are aiming for 1,667 words a day. One of the ways you can up your word count is by fitting in a few word sprints into your day. Those 300 words here, 500 words there, all add up at the end of the day, and take you that little bit closer to finishing your first draft.

Don't thinking about writing a novel. Think smaller than that. Think about writing a scene. As Orson Scott Card once said "You can't write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp. You do have to break it up into smaller chunks. But those smaller chunks aren't good old familiar short stories. Novels aren't built out of short stories. They are built out of scenes." It's much easier to write a scene a day than it is to write a whole novel.

Word Sprints: Writing a Novel 10 Minutes at a Time #Writing #WritingTips @JoLinsdell @Writers_Authors

Need some extra motivation to get you pumping out those words? Try connecting with other word sprinters on Twitter using these hashtags:

Word Sprints: Writing a Novel 10 Minutes at a Time #Writing #WritingTips @JoLinsdell @Writers_Authors


  1. Love this tip!!!! I may just start doing that! I get so self conscious putting words on paper lately.

    1. I find it makes the task of writing a book less daunting, esp. at the start when you're looking at a blank page.


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