I’m excited to talk with you today about micro-writing! Maybe you’re wondering what is micro-writing anyway? Or why you should start a micro-writing habit? I’m going to answer those questions and share how it has helped me. I’ll also share how to get started!
But first I’d just like to commend you for your desires and your motivations for writing.
I imagine you’re a lot like me…
You want to honor the Lord with your writing,
…or maybe you desire to impact others with the words you say,
…or perhaps you want to recount the Lord’s faithfulness in your life,
…or maybe you want to discover more about yourself or dig deeper into your past,
…or some of you desire to experience healing and connection with God through writing,
…or perhaps you’re just looking for a creative outlet to express your heartfelt worship to the Lord.
I’m here to say that writing can do all of those things and more and I’m excited to share with you today how micro-writing, specifically, can help with those goals!
Let me begin by sharing a little bit about my own writing journey. It was in the sixth grade that I wrote my very first short story.
Now honestly, I can’t remember what it was about the 6th grade that turned me into a writer kid. I don’t remember if it was a teacher who gave an assignment or maybe I was inspired by a really good book, or perhaps my parents threatened me to find something productive to do with my time… I really don’t recall, but I do still remember the story I wrote.
I remember that after writing the story, I felt like something had awakened within me. I finally found expression for things I’d never been able to put into words before. All the thoughts and feelings that were bouncing around inside my 6th grade self found expression through the act of writing and story telling. Whatever was unleashed in me that day, I knew could never be stuffed back inside me again.
So since that first story in the 6th grade, I’ve wanted to be a writer, and have written regularly since that time.
But here’s the thing, for many years I thought in order to be a writer, I had to produce one of those things called a book. I thought a writer was someone who wrote books… which then went on to be published by a traditional publisher, who gave their stamp of approval on the writer’s work. And then, the publisher placed the book on bookshelves in places like Barnes and Noble, where people could find them and buy them, validating that yes, the author really was a writer.
Fortunately, somewhere along the way, probably in the process of trying to become one of those so-called “real writers,” I discovered a writer isn’t just someone who writes, publishes, and sells books. A writer is someone who writes! Yep! It IS that simple!
A writer is someone who writes, just like a chef is someone who prepares food. Writers aren’t just those who have published a book. Nor simply those who intend to publish a book. Writer’s are those who write.
Having this basic shift in my understanding of what a writer is has given me the freedom to write in many different forms and differing lengths. Because here’s the thing: not everything that needs to be written needs to be put in book form.
Some things can be said in, say, a tweet- Hey, just ask Donald Trump, right? I’m not making a political statement here, I’m simply saying we all have seen the power of a tweet and as followers of Jesus Christ out to make an eternal difference in our world, we can and should use it!
Likewise, some things can be best said in a blog post, an article, a letter, or a card, or even a text.
Those forms of writing are totally valid and can be just as effective, some times more so, than a book. Most of my writing now is done in the form of blog posts and emails. I’ve discovered these forms of writing to be highly effective. They have given me far more traction and have allowed me far more impact in people’s lives than the 3 books I have written.
And hey, if you’re interested in starting a blog, check out this FREE step-by-step guide on how to set up a blog TODAY from my blogging mentor, Ruth Soukup.
For today, I want to share with you some of the ways micro-writing can be used and why you should start a micro-writing habit.
Of course micro means small, so micro-writing refers to short writing. In education, it generally refers to writing that takes less than five minutes. However, for our purposes, I’m taking it to mean any small chunk of writing, whether that’s a paragraph, a tweet, a blog post, an update on social media, a letter, or journal entry. For ease, let’s define it as anything you write in one sitting.
So let’s talk about some of the top reasons why you should start a micro-writing habit.
Why to start a Micro-writing Habit Reason #1: Short Attention Spans
The first is because people’s attention spans are super short! There are people who graduate from high school or college and vow they are never going to pick up another book in their lives! And statistics show, they keep their vows. But these same people will scroll Facebook and read what they find there. They will read what comes to their inbox and they will read texts or mail they get in their mailbox.
Because our attention spans are so short, we can reach a much broader audience when we write short, and that’s a really great reason for micro-writing.
Why to start a Micro-writing Habit Reason #2: Establish a Writing Habit
The second reason for micro writing I would like to share with you is that it’s a super simple way to start a writing habit.
I don’t know if you’ve ever set a goal in your life to write a book…
or maybe you’ve said, “I’m going to write a chapter of my book every week”…
or perhaps you’ve said, “I’m going to write an hour a day.”
Well, a lot of the times, especially if you are just starting to write, these may sound like really great goals but they may not be realistic, and therefore, they just don’t happen.
However, if you have a goal of establishing a writing HABIT… and then you establish that habit by writing just a few minutes every day, or even writing a short word count every day… it becomes a way of life for you.
It DOES become a habit and it’s completely doable and realistic.
In her book, The Right to Write, Julia Cameron says, “Making writing a big deal tends to make writing difficult. Keeping writing casual tends to make it possible.”
Because of this, I think micro-writing is the best way to start a writing habit.
Why to start a Micro-writing Habit Reason #3: Helps you Write that Book!
The third reason why I think micro-writing is a good idea for you, is because it’s a great way to write that book!
You can take all those small micro-writing exercises that you have done and compile them into a book after you are finished.
This is actually the way I wrote my 40-day devotional, Trust Without Borders. I had written for a few years on my blog, just simple pieces talking about how God was building trust in my own heart. Well, I had a reader email in to ask me if I would compile my writings into a book.
At first, I was like, “NO way! That’s a ton of work!” And while it was a lot of work to compile it together, it wasn’t nearly as much work as starting from scratch. In fact, I don’t think the book would have ever come about if I hadn’t have had the content already written. But I’m so glad I did! It has blessed thousands of people who have read it and I still get emails from people telling me how it has blessed their lives… and it’s nearly five years old!
Why to start a Micro-writing Habit Reason #4: Versatility
The fourth reason for micro-writing is because it’s so versatile!
You can use micro-writing just about anywhere- on any of the social media platforms- Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc- on apps such as messenger, in texts and push notifications, in letters and notebooks…just about anywhere! As you can imagine, it is super useful in our tech driven world.
Why to start a Micro-writing Habit Reason #5: Video Rules!
The fifth reason why micro writing is a great idea is due to the fact that by 2021, in just two years, Google estimates that 85% of all online content is going to be video. Video!**
People aren’t even going to read what we’re writing! So why am I telling you to micro-write? Because it is super easy to take micro-writing and turn it into video content! It’s not so easy to video record a book! But it’s easy to take, for example, 5 Reasons Why You Should Micro-Write and turn it into a video. So I hope that totally convinces you to micro-write! :)
Why to start a Micro-writing Habit Reason #6: Writing Improves Your Mood
BONUS Reason! So I have a sixth reason that I just can’t leave out! Recent studies show that 15-20 minutes of creative writing a day is proven to improve your mood. So not only does it help our brain process information, creative writing literally makes us feel better!
So. How do you get started? Let’s talk briefly about how you can get going with a micro-writing habit TODAY!
- Schedule a time. Make space in your day for doing this and write it in your daily schedule! Making a commitment to write daily is making a commitment to invest yourself. So do it!
- Pick a place. Having a regular go-to spot for writing can trigger your creativity. Over time, you’ll come to treasure your spot! (And yes, it’s okay to have more than one!)
- Set a timer! This will help you focus and keep you on track. Plus, you won’t feel like writing is taking over your life if you’re just setting it for 15 minutes.
- Don’t edit your writing! Worrying about grammar, spelling, or getting things just so kills the creative process. Do yourself a favor and refrain from editing while you are micro-writing. That can come later!
- Use writing prompts. The hardest part of writing sometimes is just getting started. It greatly helps to know what you’re going to write about before you sit down to write. Keep a list of ideas you’d like to write on or have a list handy of ready made prompts to get you started.
On that note, I have a FREEBIE for you! My 30 creative writing prompts will help you get started with your micro-writing habit TODAY! To download your freebie with writing prompts and journal, simply click here.
**This info was shared at a Fall 2018 blogging conference.