“You have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it
Force upon you, can’t refuse it,
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it
But it’s up to you to use it.
You must suffer if you lose it
Give account if you abuse it,
Just a tiny little minute,
But an eternity is in it.”
The author of this little gem is unknown, but over the distance of time and space, this wise voyager speaks to us with feeling and throws us a golden apple: A minute. “Just a tiny little minute/ But an eternity is in it.” How true this is!
In a minute, inspiration can hit us and set us on the road to writing something wonderful. In a minute, we can make the decision to tackle a thorny paragraph or plot problem – or turn away from it because we don’t feel like it. In a minute, we can get a great idea for a new way of approaching a story we want to write. A minute packs a lot of punch!
And yet. so often, instead of launching into our work, we let those minutes slip away. “It’s the start that stops most people,” according to my good friend and mentor, Dr. Rob Gilbert.* How do we get past the resistance we encounter in getting started?
We can take advantage of a tried-and-true technique Dr. Gilbert often talks about: “The 15-minute Rule.” Whatever you need to work on, just commit to staying with it for 15 minutes – just 15 of those precious minutes you have at your command. More often than not, by the time those 15 minutes are up, you’ll be engaged enough in what you’re doing to keep going. With momentum on your side, you can make the next 15 minutes fruitful, and the next. And when those minutes are spent wisely, you may even enter the ‘zone” many athletes talk about: the state of flow in which time seems to stand still and magical things happen.
Consider the wealth we have at our fingertips today: The minutes we can use wisely to craft stories that touch hearts, that give solace and joy. How rich we are! Write on!
*Check out Dr. Gilbert’s fabulous Success Hotline at 973.743.4690.