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Why All It Takes Is 5 Minutes

It may come as a shock, but I’m easily distractible.

It’s not something I’m proud of. Especially knowing how much my work depends on writers showing up and keeping up despite the battering hurricane of demands and requests that fly in through every open window.

It can grow dark quickly underneath the pile of debris atop the little flame of a writer’s voice.

To be seen and heard is always a fight.

Yet maybe being seen and heard doesn’t have to be the goal. Maybe sharing what’s been given you that day in the 5 minutes you have to share it, the flame will shine a little more, and the light will reach out into the dark it’s intended to reach.

Burn, little guy. Burn.

Burn, little guy. Burn.

I know from painful experience how selfish and pointless it can seem to spend much time in a private place that brings you and only you such joy. Especially if so many people depend on you. The responsibility and duty of “real life” can sap the love and light right from you and leave you dark and cold.

But if God’s love for us burns white hot, wouldn’t he want us to forget all else but the true “real life?”

That’s the premise of the novel I’ve been writing over 10 years about a young man who sells his soul for a chance to change his past. It’s been growing in me and growing with me for ages, waiting as I figured out what to do with it and how to write it. It’s grown and shaped me unlike any book ever has, and it’s still not done. But I’m going ahead and opening up about my process now because I can’t wait to share some of the jaw-dropping lessons it’s taught me as I’ve strived to show up between school, raising 2 kids and full-time editing books for publishers.

Jaw-dropping, I tell you!

Jaw-dropping, I tell you!

Some days it’s felt so pointless. But 5 minutes a day adds up. I wouldn’t have thought it possible to write a book this way. And maybe it isn’t–no one said it was good–but for years now, I’ve gotten up and for 5 minutes (which sometimes turned to 10 and 15), I’ve forgotten everything else and reveled in my dream world. It’s changed me, and it’s continuing to as I pull the disparate pieces together and learn to slowly fight back against the crush of too-great demands and urgent life, giving it the best I have, which often isn’t enough, but it doesn’t matter.

God is in it.

Unlike anything else, my book has shown God’s love to me. And I know it’s true because it’s been simple even when it could have and should have been mind-numbingly complex. In the end, I’ve believed the premise, that he wants me to forget everything else but that knowledge of his love. And in 5 minutes a day, I’ve found writing a book can teach you plenty about that.

Every day, I’m hopeful for what it’ll reveal next. If you know what I mean, give me a witness….

For the Higher Purpose,


6 Responses to “Why All It Takes Is 5 Minutes”

  1. suzee says:

    i am finding this rather revolutionary! how important are the twinkies for it to work?

    • admin says:

      I’d say they become more important as you advance to longer sessions. Rewards, you know.

  2. Heidi Gaul says:

    I’m never happier than when I’m working on a fiction piece. Just as God has touched and taught you in the world of your own making, He’s healed and grown me through my characters. My love and understanding of Him, and my faith in mankind are developed during my writing time. It’s almost as holy to me as prayer, because that’s when I hear Him best. Oh, and by the way, I love the concept for your book!

    • Mick says:

      Ha! Yes! It IS like prayer. So true. And couldn’t agree more–never happier than in that world. And thank you–for the comment, but also the kind encouragement. I’m hopeful to finish it very soon!

  3. suzee branch says:

    um, what is my comment from 2014 doing here!!??
    anyway, i love the 5 minute plan to pieces, OB.
    still a twinkies user are ya?

    • Mick says:

      Just a little reminder for you. ;) Thanks for being one of the long-time readers, my friend.

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