“An illuminating exercise I give my students is to tell them to write for, say, five or ten minutes. And then to count the number of words they’ve written. And to match that number against the number of words a writer like Virginia Woolf penned during a workday. We then figure out how long it would take for us to write a draft, say, of a 60,000 word book if all we ever had was ten minutes a day to write.
We learn that we write more than Woolf did; we learn that if we worked when we could each day, if only for ten minutes, we would eventually produce the draft of a book that, of course, we’d need to revise. We learn that stopping ourselves by telling ourselves that we don’t have enough time is a bogus excuse. We learn that we can find ten minutes by giving up doing something else.” Louise DeSalvo