Confessions of a Reformed “Write 30 Minutes a Day” Evangelist
I have a confession to make. I used to be a “write 30 minutes a day” evangelist.
In graduate school, I enrolled in a dissertation writing program through the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. The program preached the mantra that you should carve out at least 30 minutes of daily writing time every workday in order to be a more productive writer. NCFDD cites the work of writing scholar Robert Boice who’s research found that scholars who wrote just 30 minutes a day produced significantly more pages than writers who wrote sporadically or in larger chunks of time separated by multiple work days in between.
Desperately seeking a writing habit, I drank the kool aid and began following the 30 minutes a day practice. Daily writing did wonderful things for my productivity. Writing became habitual and I became accountable to myself for that daily ritual. Ideas would pop into my head at other parts of the day because the daily flow of working on a project kept my mind on topic, just as Boice saidith. I no longer binge wrote before deadlines so my stress levels around writing decreased. I simply prioritized writing more and no longer waited to be inspired to write. I also began enjoying writing more.
Like all good evangelists, I preached the doctrine of “write every day” to anyone who would listen. I participated in and created
bible studies writing groups that centered around the precept of daily writing and eagerly anticipated how the practice was going to revolutionize the lives of my comrades. I desperately wanted them to experience the freedom I found.
“You, too, will find deliverance by accepting a daily writing practice into your hearts as lord and savior.”