10 March 2017

My clockIf you can get 10 minutes uninterrupted time, (LOL) you might want to try freewriting. I rarely get 10 uninterrupted minutes, I confess. I have started my timer, typed for a while, got interrupted, paused the timer, dealt with the interruption, and then returned to the freewriting excercise to finish it up.

No strict rules, no judgement, I tell myself. The goal is to write something for 10 minutes – hopefully every day, just to help establish a writing habit. When I use topics from my notebook, I get a little added benefit in that sometimes the freewriting turns into the starting point for a real, finished story later on.

Basically, the process is:

  • Choose a writing environment (pen and paper, word processor, Evernote, etc.)
  • Choose a topic (optional – you could choose to just write whatever comes to mind)
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes
  • Type or write till the timer sounds

I type in notepad on my PC, and I have set myself up like this:

Right-click on the Windows desktop, left-click New, left-click Folder

Desktop New Folder


Type “Freewriting” in the editable name field and press Enter.

Folder rename

Double-click on this folder. Inside the folder, right-click, then left-click New, then left-click Text Document

New Text Document

Type the topic as the name and press Enter.

Double click on this .txt file to open it in Notepad, and start your timer. Type for 10 minutes. When the timer is up, finish your sentence and click the X to close (if you want!) You’ll be prompted to save – click Save.

If you’re looking for a timer, and you’re on Windows 10, type “Timer” in the “Ask me Anything” box. The returned “Best match” is “Alarms & Clock” trusted Windows store app. Right-click on that, and then left-click “Pin to Start.”

After pinning it, you can click the Start button, and Alarms & Clock will be in your programs list.

Open the Alarms and Clock app, and then click Timer at the top. Select the hours (0) minutes (10) and seconds (00) to set a ten-minute timer. Enter a timer name (I named mine “Freewriting”) and then click the Save icon at lower right.