Friday, March 24, 2017

4 & 4k: A Gratitude Journal for 10 Minute Novelists

All Good Things

So we have come to the final day of this series of blog posts. In them, we have explored many of the features of the 10 Minute universe. The whole point and purpose of the 10 Minute movement is not merely writing, which is where have been focusing. It is about empowerment. It is about taking back control of the only thing that is really ours, and completely irreplaceable: our time.

Seneca, the famous Stoic philosopher, said:

It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.

So this is where 10 Minute Novelists come in. If you really don't have time to write, then don't. If your priorities are such that every moment is occupied by something more important that writing, then do that thing.

But if you have a mere 10 minutes to write, you can get in about 400 words in a single sitting. That's about two to three paragraphs. And in 6 to 7 months, you will have your first draft... in 10 minutes a day. Katherine used this method to take her novel from concept to completion in 5 years, and that includes multiple drafts and edits.

If you have more that 10 minutes, or two 10 minute blocks, or your typing speed is a little better than average, your novel will start to take shape that much sooner. If you can set aside three or four 10 minute blocks a day, you are winning NaNoWriMo every... single... month. Of course, there is still the editing, etc. But you get the picture. 10 minutes.

Though I have spent the last 10 days talking about the 10 Minute Novel community, the website, the various add-ons and events, it is really all about a single thing. You. You writing your novel. That is what this whole thing is for. So take 10 minutes, right now if you can. Get some words down. They don't have to be great, or world changing, or perfect. They just have to be yours. Go ahead, I'll wait until you get back.

I wanted to wrap this series with a big thank you to all of the Admins who have given their support and Drabbles to me over the last two weeks, with a special shout out to Ian for letting me in to their world. It's been an honour to be a part of their group, even for a short time. But I think I will reserve the last Drabble to a member of the group, who I think speaks for all of us. Let's hear from Pamela Humphrey.

Hushing the crowd before the moment of the big reveal, the Admins lined up near the door. When it swung open, Katharine stepped in.  Glenda snapped pictures as thousands of writers roared, “Surprise!” Escorted to the center of the library, Katharine took her spot atop the temporary stage. Eric quieted the crowd with a raise of his hand. “Every book in this place was helped into creation by the group you created. All of these are ten minute books, in some way.” Sheri and Sandy handed out invisible drinks, and when everyone had a glass, we lifted them. “To Katharine!”

(Pamela Humphrey, a homeschooling mom to three boys and author of Finding Claire, joined 10 Minute Novelists a year ago.)

Hear, hear!

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