Writing Assignment: Write For Thirty Minutes While Keeping An Eye On The Clock

by Randy Murray on October 18, 2013

A lot of people I know tell me that they hate writing. When I probe a bit to find out why one of the most frequent reasons I uncover is because of the scars they developed writing test essays in school or college. The pressure and intensity of those experiences have led many to say, “Thank god that’s over. I’ll never have to write like that again.”

And many of them don’t.

It’s a shame. Writing is one of the most important tools for communication today. To write well is both effective and enjoyable. And to write well under pressure of the clock is a very important skill.

It just takes some practice.

For today’s assignment write a brief essay while keeping an eye on the clock. Give yourself no more than thirty minutes to complete the work. You may select your own topic or you may write on this suggested theme: How structured time limits can enhance creativity.

When faced with such a short time-frame and a fresh topic I recommend proceeding in this fashion:

  • First make notes about the subject.
  • Next, organize them into an outline with well defined points that you wish to make.
  • Then craft a conclusion and closing statement.

You are then ready to write the essay, using these tools. Yes, you can start writing in the first minute, but if you do these preparatory steps you’ll find that the writing becomes easier and you’re more likely to be satisfied with the finished essay when the time runs out.

After the time is over, read and mark up your essay. Note where your writing isn’t clear and be honest with yourself over how well you made your points and how interesting this essay is.

For bonus points repeat this exercise over several days running, each with a fresh topic. I believe that over time you’ll find it both easier and less stressful to write within this time limit. Hopefully this experience will transfer to other pressure-filled writing times.

The Writing Assignment: Write For Thirty Minutes While Keeping An Eye On The Clock by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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