Ten Minutes


I was asked the other day if I was having fun writing these ten minute bursts of words and my answer: yes, for the most part though sometimes they were hard work. But that’s a good thing too. I started these two months ago and have been able to write and post one everyday despite sometimes being far off the beaten path, on airplanes, even sick. It is a good exercise in discipline if nothing else.

I think some people find them amusing or interesting or thought provoking though it sometimes seems a bit futile when only ten or fifteen people bother to read them. But I think they are worth doing for their own sake.

Why do we ever write anyway?  There is no certainty of finding an audience and even if we do it will never be as great as we would like. Dan Brown sold 8 million copies of The Da Vinci Code but he was still beaten out by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter (among others). If I sell 500 or 1000 copies of a book — I’m hardly in the same league.

So writing for a few people is okay since often I think I’m only writing for myself anyway.

Some topics, of course, lend themselves to more words than others — there are some I know have left people hanging and which I’ve flagged for longer treatment in other places such as my personal political blog over at Hayden’s Hubris. Other topics are too fraught to even attempt the ten minute treatment though, you never know, I may get up my courage to write some of them anyway. Since no one is reading it hardly matters if I write upsetting things, right? It’s not as if someone will come by and arrest me or shoot me or even call me bad names in the line at Starbucks.

Writing from where I sit is pretty much a privilege — like those bozos on Fox news who make pronouncements about war when you know not one of them has the guts to go anywhere near the front lines even in a non-combatant role.

Just rambling now so here are some statistics. I average about 425 words in these little ten minute bursts so I’ve now produced over 25000 since I began which, if it were fiction, would be 5 short stories or ¼ of a novel. Of course, writing fiction is a much more deliberate process. I can’t do 500 words of polished prose in 10 minutes though if I count the few minutes editing typos and the time it takes to post and insert the links I could get pretty close to first draft material. So, if I decide this is too much work or not enough fun I guess I could do that instead.

My friend, Joe Haldeman, writes 500 words a day every single day of the year except maybe his birthday and he produces a novel a year. Not a bad approach to things. 500 words and then a whole day to do other things. Hmmm.

But that’s ten minutes.


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