I used to think I wouldn’t get any writing done unless I had at least a few hours blocked out to write. But what I found when I actually sat down at my laptop was – a few hours can run away with you. Thinking I had plenty of time, I’d start to procrastinate. Or I’d get caught up in researching for my writing, which, as everyone knows, can lead to exploring all kinds of crazy tangents on the web that may or may not have anything to do with the book you’re writing! I’d get distracted. I’d flip through another book for a reference, and get caught up reading a few chapters. I’d go on YouTube. And at the end of those few hours, sometimes I may have written a lot and I’d be fist pumping. But other times, I’d have actually written very little and I’d feel discouraged.
But when I started just trying to squeeze in a bit of writing whenever I had ten minutes here or 20 minutes there or even just five minutes somewhere, I was actually surprised at how much I’d fit in. I think it’s because I know I only have a very little time, so instead of procrastinating or worrying about how much I’d actually get done, or just how perfect the sentences should be but aren’t, I’d just throw myself in the work. I just start scribbling like mad, trying to get words done. And I wasn’t worried about exactly how much I got done, so I wasn’t feeling any paralysing pressure. I was happy with whatever I’d done, because I hadn’t any expectations at the end of it – just getting something done was a bonus.
And slowly, bit by bit, those ten and five minutes started to add up. I thought it would take ages to get anything done if I only did a little here and there. But, no, I actually was amazed by how much I got done. And they set things up for when I did have a large block of spare time for writing because by then, a) I’d already laid out the groundwork in those shorter periods of time so I used those longer blocks to pad out what I’ve already done and b) working in short periods of time helped me get into the zone a lot quicker than I used to. So less procrastinating – more work!
All in all, it’s true what they say, a little at a time really does get a lot done. And this isn’t just something you can apply to writing, but to the rest of life too. So – bonus! 🙂