Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The 5 Minutes A Day Rule

Happy New Year!

Well, the dust from all the various holidays and associated craziness--parties, families, cooking, travelling, et cetera--has finally begun to settle, and I'm trying to get back into the groove. Back to reading and tweeting and somewhat-regular blog posting. Back to writing.

But first, I made a few goals and resolutions for the shiny new year!

I wrote a long and detailed list of new year's resolutions with my husband this year, because we're total nerds like that. We write out lists separately and then read and discussed them with each other.

(Note: I think resolutions are one of those things that, if they work for you, awesome! And if they don't... don't worry about them. But I personally LOVE them. Having goals helps me a lot, and I get such a rush when I look back and see that I've met them.)

Most of my resolutions are personal, like giving more to charity this year, and the rest are mostly places I'd like to see myself professionally in a year rather than actual resolutions (although I know what I have to do to get there). But I do have two goals for the year that I thought I'd share.

They're easy to remember because they both have to do with the number 5.

I got the idea for the first one from Alexandra Sokoloff's blog, and it is so simple but so smart that I am totally incorporating it into my goals for the year.

It's this simple:

Write at least 5 minutes a day. 

Now, for me, the hardest part about writing is actually sitting down and starting to do it. I can find any excuse in the world to not sit down and type at my computer, especially if I feel stuck in a rut or uncertain about where the story is supposed to go. So with this goal, I can promise myself that I only have to do 5 minutes. But HOPEFULLY I'll get sucked in, as often happens, and do much, much more writing that day. But even if I don't, 5 minutes is something, and something is better than nothing.

My second goal is also pretty simple:

Read at least 5 writing books this year.

I made (and met!) this goal last year as well, and it was tremendously helpful to me. I'm trying to always be growing and learning when it comes to my craft, and this is one great way to do it.

Do you guys have any big goals or resolutions for the new year?


  1. What great goals! I never do resolutions. They're just not for me. Well, at least not ones I make on January 1st. But I love hearing about everyone else's resolutions!

    If you haven't read "The Elements of Style," by Strunk and White, I highly suggest you read it this year. It's my absolute favorite book on writing.

  2. Change that first 5 to 30 and you have one of my resolutions. That second 5 is accurate, though not about writing. I read, literally, one book last year. There's another about fitness and I would have made it last year if I hadn't been in a car wreck. Still recovering, but making progress.

  3. i'm bad at resolutions, but i have really really good intentions! that counts for something, right?
    great 5x5!

  4. Love your resolutions. For years I've done the 15 minutes of writing a day goal--though I take Sundays off. (It has to be 15 for me because I can easily stare at the computer screen for 5 minutes, but with 15 I'm forced to write something.:)

    I hope your resolutions go well. Which of the 5 writing books that you read last year did you like best?

  5. Emily: Thanks for the suggestion! Can you believe I haven't read it? My dad's been telling me to read it for YEARS and my writing teachers in college always raved about it. It is on my list for this year!

    Joshua: I figured 5 was the easiest goal ever, but I am hoping to make it more like 15-30 at least every day (but I won't beat myself up over it if it isn't).

  6. Vic: Intentions... resolutions... it's practically all the same thing, right? :)

    Connie: Thanks! I forgot to mention that I will probably only be doing the 5 minutes a day thing 5 or 6 days a week. Whoops! I usually take Sundays off (at least from feeling like I NEED to write) just so I have a mental breather and so I can spend guilt-free time hanging out with my family.

    My favorite book... hmmm. That's hard. Either BIRD BY BIRD or SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS, although I read a bunch of great ones so it's hard to choose.

  7. Hi,
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    I would like to purchase a copy :) Please let me know if there is something I could do differently. Thank you !


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