Writing in Short Spates

writing, inspo, writers, writing tips, advice, short spates,, nanowrimo

How’s everyone going with Nanowrimo so far? I hope it’s been a productive second week for all my fellow writers out there!

I thought I’d put up a few writing posts this November in honour of Nanowrimo. It’s timely as I haven’t put up too many writing posts in a while and I think it’s time to do just that! For today, I thought I’d talk about writing in short spates.

I used to think that in order to write a book, I needed to spend at least a few hours a day writing. If I didn’t do that, I’d felt as if I wasn’t being productive, like a bit of a failure, and that made me want to stop trying.

Then life took a massive turn and I didn’t have a lot of time for anything. But I made sure I set aside a little time whenever I could for writing because writing was one of the things that made me feel better. I’d snatch a few minutes here and there, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.

I soon realised that in those short blocks of time, I was more productive than I’d ever been in. And there are a few reasons for this:

Less daunting: Because you only have a short space of time, you go into your writing with less expectations. You don’t expect to be able to churn out a few chapters – in fact, you’re just happy with anything you get down on paper, even if it’s only a few paragraphs! Bonus: this also means that you leave your work with a glowing sense of achievement each time you’re done, rathe than a niggling feeling that you should have really done more than you actually have.

You stop wasting time: When I know I’ve got a whole afternoon to write, I start procrastinating like mad just because I know I’ve got so much time on my hands. But then the hours start slipping away and suddenly it’s almost dinnertime and I’m scrabbling to write as much as I can, all the while feeling, as mentioned above, that I should have got a lot more done. But when I know I don’t have much time to waste, I just get started right away because I want to utilise as much time as I’ve got.

It all does add up: When writing in short spates, it might feel like forever before you’ll ever able to complete an 80-ooo word book. But what I find is while ten, fifteen or twenty minutes here and there isn’t a lot on its own, it does add up. Write a little each day, don’t worry about how fast or slow you’re going, and I guarantee that one day you’ll suddenly look up to realise you’ve got a whole novel on your hands!

Fresh eyes: This works for me especially during the editing process. When I’m in editing mode, going over the same paragraphs over and over again can get a bit stale and dull, and I find myself trying to speed things up and missing stuff I should have caught. But if I break it up and work on only a little piece each time, I’m able to check my work with a fresh pair of eyes each time and give every word the proper attention it deserves.

Writing in short spates has helped me greatly and I hope it would help you too! Happy writing!

Do you prefer writing in short blocks of time or over long periods? Tell me why below!

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