Writing Assignment: Take A Five Minute Writing Break

by Randy Murray on March 16, 2012

If you want to become a better writer you need to write every day. By writing I’m not talking about tweeting, sending emails or text messages, or scrawling a quick PostIt note. I’m talking about writing with intention, writing to learn to write better.

Yes, I know you’re busy. But almost everyone can spare five minutes everyday, to write.

What can you do in five minutes?

A lot. If you stop, organize your mind, and write for just five minutes you can feel the writing muscles engage. You can get a taste of the intellectual electricity. And you can decide if you want more of that. More is better, but five minutes, every day, may be enough to maintain momentum.

Use your five minutes to write in your personal journal. Plan ahead and transcribe that page of dialog you have in your head in your five minutes of writing or typing. Draft the opening of an essay or blog post. Write.

Here’s the hard part: do not use your five minutes to think about writing. You’ll need to find other time for that. Your five minutes is for WRITING, nothing else.

For today’s writing assignment (and every day that follows), take five minutes and write continuously. Note your start and stop times each day in your writing notebook.

After twelve days, review what you’ve written in over one hour of focused writing.

Then consider expanding your writing time to ten minutes every day. After each full hour of completed writing, ask yourself if you can double it for the next week. In under five weeks you’ll be writing over an hour everyday.


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The Writing Assignment: Take A Five Minute Writing Break by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

doug_eike March 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I like this suggestion. Clearly, the concept of writing every day is a winning one, but the five-minute suggestion opens the door to further writing. I tend to write only when I have a two-hour block of time or more, and that means I fail to write on some days. Any idea for advancing writing while engaged in a busy schedule is worth trying. I’ll give it a whirl. Thanks!


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