Writing for “n” minutes

Several times I’ve heard about 15 minutes-a-day-dissertations or books, and again I hear about the magic of “piecemeal” writing from Knight and Luker. But it is so hard to believe them! Sometimes I try to help skeptical myself by applying a larger scale. 15 minutes a day turn to be 91.25 hours per year or rather reasonable 3 hours per day for one month. Isn’t that enough for a book or at least a half? Maybe…

Only for me to have 15 minutes of actual writing means always adding to those 15 more minutes of prior preparation. After that I can even last for 30 minutes of writing or an hour - I won’t follow the clock. It can be alright, but does it mean I am doomed with mediocre and not very large works? I want to believe no; and at the same time I can’t stop wondering whether I miss valuable training and getting my hand in writing by committing preparatory thorough thinking for several days and then at last writing for a lot more than 15 minutes in a row. And I am speaking not only about book writing but also about composing any valuable record. Being able to remember things for more than a day I build thought over thought without going astray and without help from a paper or file. By the way, in their roots, days are artificial time divisions, so maybe they don’t determine that golden frequency for everyone. I want to believe again that you can find your way and that the main idea is never to dismiss taking notes, never leave writing till “someday in the future” when you already have thoughts or material for a paragraph, and as someone roughly said:

The worst thing ever written is always better than the thing never written at all.

P.S.: All the same, after words of persuasion I can’t get rid of a little bit of envy for such people as Balzac who acquire their best thoughts from writing or for authors whose characters surprisingly act as if by themselves on paper. Is it still another way or a better one?

The very last thought, I promise, that occurred to me: there is a use for 15 minutes rule. When you don’t have a theme, a work, or research, you better come up with something for a fraction of a day and write simply to stay in shape, to prevent blocks and to use this beautiful phrase you so treasured to come up finally with another and a new one. It seems that this is also the author’s idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment