7-Day, 15-Minute Writing Challenge | Accomplish Your Writing Goals in 15-Minutes a Day | Rebecca Livermore | Skillshare

7-Day, 15-Minute Writing Challenge | Accomplish Your Writing Goals in 15-Minutes a Day

Rebecca Livermore, Microsoft Office for Creatives

7-Day, 15-Minute Writing Challenge | Accomplish Your Writing Goals in 15-Minutes a Day

Rebecca Livermore, Microsoft Office for Creatives

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11 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Intro

      1:20
    • 2. Day 0: Get Ready!

      3:45
    • 3. Writing Music Intro

      1:05
    • 4. Day 1: Determine Your Purpose

      3:31
    • 5. Day 2: Determine Your Baseline

      4:37
    • 6. Day 3: Make a List

      2:49
    • 7. Day 4: Put Your Plan into Action

      1:41
    • 8. Day 5: Be Creative

      3:36
    • 9. Day 6: Block Out Distractions

      3:32
    • 10. Day 7: Don't Break the Chain

      3:23
    • 11. Your Project

      0:51
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About This Class

Hello, and welcome to the 7-day 15-minute writing challenge!  

I’m Rebecca Livermore, and I’m a full-time author, blogger, and online teacher. I’ve written thousands of blog posts, magazine articles, and over 17 books.  

While I now work from home full time, I started my writing career first as a stay-at-home mom, and then later as  a mom with a full-time job.  

The bottom line is that I know how hard it can be to squeeze in time to write.  

If you write or want to write and struggle with finding time to write, this 7-day, 15-minute writing challenge is for you!  

My proven, simple system has helped writers just like you get unstuck and make writing a sustainable writing habit.  

In this class you’ll get 

  • 7 daily writing assignments that you can complete in just 15 minutes each day 
  • Guidance on setting personalized writing goals 
  • A simple encouraging exercise that will prove to you that you can be a productive writer, even if you have limited time 
  • Tips and tools for blocking out writing distractions 
  • A solid start on developing a daily writing habit 
  • And of course, so much more! 

So what are you waiting for? Let’s go ahead and dive in!  

Meet Your Teacher

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Rebecca Livermore

Microsoft Office for Creatives

Teacher

Hi, I'm Rebecca Livermore, also known as The Office Creative. I'm a bestselling author, blogger, and the owner of Professional Content Creation. I've been a freelance writer since 1993 and have served as a content manager for top bloggers such as Michael Hyatt, Amy Porterfield, and Marcus Sheridan.

I've always loved PowerPoint, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I began to discover the many ways to use PowerPoint to create content. I use it for everything from blog and social media images, lead magnets, low content books, printables, videos, digital planners, and more. The more I use PowerPoint, the more amazed I am by the many types of content you can create with this one powerful tool.

I'm constantly learning new ways to use PowerPoint and other Micro... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Intro: Hello and welcome to the seven day, 15 minute writing challenge. I'm Rebecca Livermore, and I'm a full time author, blogger and online teacher. I've written thousands of blood post magazine articles, hand over 17 books. And while I now work at home full time, I started my writing career first as a stay at home mom with young Children at home and then later as a mom with a full time job. The bottom line is that I know how hard it can be to squeeze in time to write, and if you write or want to write, and you struggle with finding time to write this seven day, 15 minutes writing challenge is for you. My proven simple system has helped writers just like you get unstuck and make daily writing a sustainable habit. In this class, you'll get seven daily writing assignments that you can complete in just 15 minutes each day. Guidance on setting personalized writing goals, a simple and encouraging exercise that will prove to you that you could be a productive writer even if you have limited time, tips and tools for blocking out writing distractions. A solid start on developing a daily writing habit and, of course, so much more. So what are you waiting for? Let's go ahead and dive in 2. Day 0: Get Ready! : Hello and welcome to the seven day, 15 minute writing challenge. I want to start off by congratulating you for joining the challenge. Tomorrow will be the first day on your journey to developing a sustainable writing habit that will help you succeed as a writer, even if you can only devote 15 minutes a day to your writing. This simple writing habit has helped many other succeed as a writer, and I know that it can help you, too. So each day over the next seven days, you'll apply the lessons in the video for the day. Now, if desired, you can watch the entire course first it short, and that will give you the big picture. But then what you'll need to do is each day, go through the video of the day and do the assignment for the day. Each assignment will only take you about 15 minutes. And by the way, if you'd like the same content in written form, then you can choose to receive it that way as well. There's a link for the written version in the pdf in the project area of this class. All right now, let's dive in today zero Yes, Day zero. I'll admit that toe have a day. Zero for a challenge may seem a little odd, but I wanted to give you a day to prepare for the challenge. Now, don't worry. The prep is minimal, but it will enable you to jump right into the challenge tomorrow. Taking just a few minutes today to prepare will improve your chances of success. Today's assignment should only take you about five minutes, and so, without further do, let's get started. All right. First, I want to talk about what you'll need for this challenge. Number one. A timer for each day's assignment, you'll need a timer. You can use an old fashioned kitchen timer, the timer on your smartphone or on online timer, such as the one found on online stopwatch dot com. So your task is to decide what you'll use as a timer. Number two. You'll need a place for your writing assignments, so you also want to locate a journal or create a document or a folder where you can keep all of your assignments. If you don't already have a system in place, just opened up a Wardak and save it to your computer and add to it each day. So your task is to decide and locator set up where you'll complete your writing assignments , and three, you'll need a time and place to write. This is probably the most important aspect of the planning, and it's important to determine when and where you are right later. I'll give you some creative ideas for how to tackle this, but for now, just give a little thought and jot down your ideas. I recommend getting out your calendar and looking for both obstacles and opportunities for writing in the coming week. For instance, if you're traveling this week, travel that throws off your routine could be an obstacle. But it also provides an opportunity to write, such as writing during your flight. While you have your calendar out, add 15 minute daily writing appointments to your calendar and treat them like any other appointment. Now, my guess is that you wouldn't stand up someone else that you scheduled an appointment with . So treat yourself and your writing with the same level of respect and commit to your scheduled writing time. All right, so your task here is to decide where and when you're right and put it on your calendar. All right, so again, just to recap three things that I want you to do today, I want you to determine what type of time or you'll views where to keep your writing assignments, such as setting up a word document and you'll decide a time and place to write and put that on your calendar. In the next video, you'll determine the deeper purpose for your writing. This will serve as motivation to keep writing, even when you don't feel like it. I look forward to seeing you in the next video. 3. Writing Music Intro: Hello, everyone. I just wanted to make this quick video to let you know that I decided to add a bonus video to this course. You'll find it at the very end, but I'm putting this announcement here just in case you want to use it. As you work through this course. The bonus video is a 15 minute music video that you can use in your 15 minute writing sessions. I often like it quiet when I write, but there are times when there's noise that distracts me. And in those times I often put on some type of background music or other background noise that helps to block out the other noise, and that really helps me concentrate. So I made this video for you just so that you can put it on and played in the background. As you work on your writing sessions. I hope that you enjoy it 4. Day 1: Determine Your Purpose: Welcome to Day one of the 15 minute writing challenge. So yesterday you selected a timer you determined where you'll keep your writing, where and when you'll write and how to turn obstacles into opportunities. Now let's get into today's assignment Day one. Determine your purpose. By the end of this 15 minute exercise, you'll have clarity on what you want to write, why you want to write it and the impact of fulfilling your writing dreams. So today's assignment is broken into 35 minute segments. Number one. Spend five minutes writing about the big goals for your writing. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? Do you want to write a book? Have a successful blawg? Write a novel, create a site income or perhaps enough income to quit your day job? So what I want you to Dio is set a timer for five minutes and free right about your goal number to spend five minutes writing about some smaller goals you would like to accomplish along the way. For instance, if your big writing goal is to eventually bring in enough income to quit your day job and you haven't yet made any money writing A small goal may be to make your 1st $100 as a writer or toe land your first client. If you want to have a successful block and you haven't even started a blood yet, some smaller goals would be to buy a domain name, purchase Web hosting and settle on a website theme. If you're unsure what steps you need to take to work towards your bigger goal right about that uncertainty and make a list of things you need to research. So set a timer and writes about your many goal. Number three. Spend five minutes writing about how accomplishing your goals will make a difference in your life and in the lives of those you love. Now this one gets at the core of the purpose behind your writing. Why do you want to accomplish the goals you've set? How will your life be different as a result? What will be the positive impact on others that you love? So here's a simple exercise that might help start by stating a goal and then follow it by answering the question so that over and over again. So here's an example. I want to start a blawg so that all establish an online presence so that my influence will expand beyond my current relationships so that I'll have a greater impact on the world. So that dot, dot dot So what I want you to do is set a timer and right for five minutes about the deeper purpose of accomplishing your writing goals. Congratulations on completing the first day. By the way, if you feel like you just got going and have time to write more, feel free to keep going. In contrast, if you felt stuck anywhere during this process, don't be discouraged. Each day you'll find the process gets easier and easier, and in no time you'll be able to easily right on command. And by the way, I'm here for you. If you need help than just post the things that you're struggling with in the community area in the discussion area, this class and I'll be sure to help you out. Now the next video is a good one. In it, I share one simple exercise that will prove to you how much you'll accomplish by simply consistently riding 15 minutes a day. You will be amazed. See you in the next video 5. Day 2: Determine Your Baseline: Welcome to Day two of the 15 minute writing challenge, So I have two primary goals for you during this writing challenge. First, I want you to begin to develop the writing habit, even if you have very little time to write. Second, I want you to catch a vision for how much you can accomplish with your writing. Even if you only have 15 minutes a day to devote to your writing endeavors. Today, we're going to dive into a simple exercise that will help you see how much you can accomplish in just 15 minutes of writing a day. Now. First, I want to deal with any feelings that you have regarding the futility of writing just 15 minutes a day, especially if you have big goals for your writing, such as writing a book. It may seem downright silly. Teoh even bother if you can only write 15 minutes a day. But by the time you finish today's assignment, you'll have proof that you can accomplish even lofty writing dreams if you consistently right 15 minutes a day, so without further do, let's get into today's assignment. Day two is determined your baseline. So today I want you to spend your 15 minutes doing some simple free writing. There are only two rules for this assignment. Number one. Use a timer for today's exercise. It's important to write for exactly 15 minutes. I want you to write without stopping to correct things or look things up. We're not going for perfection here. We're going for flow in terms of what you write. That's up to you. Write whatever comes to mind. If you want to write more about your writing goals or dreams, great. Or maybe there's something that's on your mind. The what? Doesn't matter nearly as much as writing nonstop for 15 minutes, so the task is. Set your timer for 15 minutes and write nonstop. OK, go ahead and do that now. Now let's look at the numbers. When the timer goes off, I want you to check to see how many words you wrote. If you use word, you'll see the word count at the bottom left of your document. If you wrote in Google Docks, you'll find your word count under tools and then word count. Now let's talk about what those numbers mean. We all right at different speeds. My husband and I both took this test, and between the two of us we average 420 words in 15 minutes. You might write faster or slower than that, and that's okay. The key is to figure out your own baseline and then consider how those words add up. So now here are a few examples. Let's say that you wrote 200 words in 15 minutes. If you write 15 minutes a day every day in a week you will have written 1400 words. In a month you will have written around 6000 words, and in a year you will have written 73,000 words. OK, now, let's look at 400 words in 15 minutes. Needless to say, if you wrote 400 words in 15 minutes, your results will be double what was provided regarding those who wrote 200 words in 15 minutes. Now that adds up to a whopping 146,000 words in a year. So to calculate your own numbers, here's what you need to dio you take your 15 minute word count times seven and that equals your weekly words. Your 15 minute word count times 30 is your approximate monthly word. Count your 15 minute word count. Times 365 equals an annual word count. Now, regardless of how your numbers look, give yourself a big pat on the back, an acknowledgment of the potential you have with writing just 15 minutes per day. Now let's talk about what you can do with those words. First, let me acknowledge that the words you'll write in those 15 minutes are rough, unedited words, so you will need to clean them up or hire someone to clean them up for you before publishing them. But writing the words in the first place is the hard part. So let's look at what you can do with all of those words, for this example will use the modest word count of 200 words every 15 minutes. In a year, you'll have 73 1000 word blood post one or two books, depending on genre and the length you're going for. If you go for shorter books or block posts, you could write a weekly block post and publish a book each year, So be encouraged. Today you can accomplish your writing goals, even if you only right 15 minutes a day. 6. Day 3: Make a List: welcome to Day three of the seven day, 15 minute writing Challenge. So today we're gonna talk about making a list. Now, before I get into that, I want to just say that sometimes staring at a blank page is downright intimidating. And this is especially true if you have no clue what you want to write about so that you don't waste your 15 minutes trying to figure out what to write. Today. We're going to spend some time planning that way. When you sit down to write something, starting tomorrow, you'll be able to get right to it. Today, I'd like you to use your 15 minutes to make a list of things you'd like to work on during your 15 minute writing sessions. So drop down anything that comes to mind without judgment. You want to keep the ideas flowing, so don't stop to figure out whether or not the ideas or any good you'll sort through them later. Here's some sample ideas to get you started. Now feel free to use any or none of them, but hopefully they'll at least give you some ideas of the types of things that you can work on during your 15 minute writing challenge each day, you can brainstorm some block post titles, create a rough book outline or mind map, create a detailed block post outline and, by the way, outlines could be in any form. So don't worry about following rules. The main ideas to jot down a list of ideas and put them into some type of logical order. You can decide on a project and create a project to do list as an example. If you're going to start a blogger, some of the items on your to do list maybe to purchase a domain name, sign up for Web hosting and install WordPress, install a theme, make a list of blood post ideas and so on. You can spend 15 minutes working on a block poster book, and by the way, you don't have to complete something in the 15 minutes. You just need to make progress on it. You can run a block post through Graham early or pro writing aid and make changes. You can upload and format a blonde post. You can add links and images to a block post. How about researching to prepare to write your own content or to fill in the blanks and some of the content you've worked on previously, you could make a list of content you can repurpose. For example, if you're a pastor, you have sermons. If you're a public speaker, a teacher, you have notes and outlines from talks. So your task for today is to set a timer for 15 minutes and jot down ideas for things to work on during your 15 minute writing sessions. Now again, make note that the task don't have to be thinks you can complete in 15 minutes because you can continue working on bigger tasks day by day. Good luck on today's writing challenge, and the next video, the Rubber Meets the Road and all the prep work done up to this point pays off. I look forward to seeing you in the next video. 7. Day 4: Put Your Plan into Action: hello and welcome to Day four of the seven day, 15 minute writing challenge. So now that you know you're what? Why, how and baseline? It's time to get down to writing. So today's focus is to put your plan into action. The first thing I want you to do is to determine what you'd like to work on today. So start by reviewing your purpose for your writing that you said on Day one. It always helps to remember why you want to write in the first place. Second, review the list of writing ideas that you created and ask yourself what one thing can I do in the next 15 minutes to move me closer to accomplishing my purpose for writing? Okay, so and that's a good thing just to keep in mind each day, make sure that you spend your 15 minutes doing something that will move you closer to accomplishing the purpose for your writing. So today's task is a simple one. Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on the task that you just selected. And if you have problems getting started, pick any topic and free right for 15 minutes and by the way, I'd love to hear how you're doing. So feel free to leave comments in the discussion area and let me know any successes or any struggles that you've had today. I am here for you, and I'd love to connect with you in the next video. I'm going to share with you some creative ideas for how to squeeze in your 15 minutes. So if you're struggling with finding even 15 minutes to write, you're going to love the tips in tomorrow's video. 8. Day 5: Be Creative: hello and welcome to Day Five of theseventies, a 15 minute writing challenge. So I hope that your writing is going well so far and that you managed to set aside time to write for 15 minutes each day. Now, I know that some of you have so much going on that coming up with even 15 minutes to write can be tough. And if that describes you, I want to encourage you in today's lesson, we're gonna talk about coming up with creative solutions. So today is all about coming up with some creative ways to squeeze in your writing time. So here are a few examples. When I was a mother of young Children, finding time alone to write was hard to come by. My pastor knew of my struggle, and he wanted to port me in my writing. So he gave me a key to the church so I could have a quiet place to write any time I know of a woman with young Children who wrote her entire book sitting in her car in her driveway. Now you can apply the same idea to stopping at a park or parking lot and writing for 15 minutes on the way to or from work. And by the way, in the resource pdf. I have a link to a desk that fits on a car steering wheel. Yep, that's right. It hooks right under your car steering wheel, and it gives you a death so you can put your laptop on your desk in your car and right while you're in your car. Next, you can write for 15 minutes during your lunch break. You can keep no cards in your purse or pocket and right when you find yourself waiting somewhere such a doctor's office. And even if you can only write for five minutes, that's better than nothing. You can show up in the line where you pick up your kids from school 15 minutes early and right while you're waiting, you can try dictating your riding on your phone when you take a walk or exercise, and by the way, there's many absent. Transcribe what you say, and while it's not perfect, it's still better than not getting your words down. You can right alongside your Children give them a notebook or journal so that they, too, can get into the writing habit. Let them know that it's quiet time, and we're all going to write for 15 minutes now. If you have some Children that are too young to write, give them crayons and a piece of paper so they can quote unquote right along with you. Now I hope that thes get the wheels turning and inspired you to come up with something that works for you. The key thing that I want you to dio today, though, is to continue writing. If you need to use one of these creative ways to get your time alone to right, then go ahead and do that. Otherwise, just right. Wherever you normally write in today's task, you're just going to set a timer and right for 15 minutes you can pick up where you left off yesterday. Or you can pick a new task from your list of ideas. And again, if you've been struggling to fit in the 15 minutes, use one of the ideas that I gave in today's video or you can come up with one of your own creative ideas. The key thing is to think outside of the box. You don't necessarily have to write in an office or a set place that you would conventionally think of as a good place to write. And by the way, if you found something that works for you that I didn't mention, go ahead and post that in the discussion area of this class so that I can be inspired by your ideas and so that other people in the class can as well, happy writing. I look forward to seeing you in the next video, where I share some tips for blocking out distractions. 9. Day 6: Block Out Distractions: hello and welcome to Day six of the seven day, 15 minute writing challenge. So in the last video, I shared some tips for creative ways to squeeze in 15 minutes of writing each day. But what if you find the time and when you sit down to write, you find yourself distracted and able to focus. So in today's video, we're gonna look at how to block out distractions. So that's what Day six is all about. Blocking out distractions. Now here are a few things that have worked for me or other writers that I've worked with. Number one. Turn off the Internet. How If you're like me, the Internet presents a great big bundle of distractions. You hear sound every time a new email comes in. There's Facebook posts, YouTube, notifications and MAWR. They all pop up every time someone you subscribe to post something new. So one of the best ways to beat this distraction and time SEC is to turn off the Internet during your 15 minutes of writing time. Number two silent your phone. Okay, so it's also a good idea to completely silent your phone now. Silence it rather than setting it to vibrate because if you're like me and you hear the phone vibrate, you'll reach for it just to see what came in. So I also find it helpful to put the phone in another room or face down so that I don't see any notifications. Number three be accountable. There's something about having to report on what you did to someone else that's very motivating. Find a friend who also wants to write consistently and report to them on a daily basis toe . Let them know how you did. This won't necessarily block out distractions, but it will help you push through them. Next, you can come to an agreement with family members. So my husband and I both work from home often right next to each other. And a problem that we had is that he'd be in the mood to talk when I was in the mood, right, and vice versa. So at one point we came to an agreement not to talk between 9 a.m. And noon. Now the good news is you don't need your family members or roommates to be quiet for three hours. You only need 15 minutes. It may take a little while to train them. But communicating with them about your goal is the first step. And by the way, when the timer goes off, go out of your way to chat with them. They'll soon learn that you're writing time is very, very short and that you'll soon be available to them again. Next, you can try using the distraction free settings inward or Google dogs in the newer versions of Microsoft Word down at the bottom of the screen. To the right, you'll see a little icon with the word focus next to it. When you quick on that, your document goes from cluttered with all the commands to a blank piece of what paper? If you writing Google docks, you can click on view and select full screen for the same distraction free set up. So today's task is to pick up where you left off in your writing yesterday and right for 15 minutes. Now, if you struggle with distractions, try one or more of the tips in today's video to block out distractions. In the next video, I share a method that helped Jerry Seinfeld succeed as a comedian, and it can also help you succeed as a writer so you won't want to miss it. Be sure to tune in to the next video 10. Day 7: Don't Break the Chain: hello and welcome to Day seven of the seven day, 15 minute writing challenge. So today is the last day of the 15 minute writing challenge, and I just want to congratulate you on what you've done so far. Now, let's be honest, since this is a short challenge and since you spent the first few days preparing to write, chances are that by the end of the day you'll still have a lot of work to do. And guess what? That's okay. The goal of this challenge was toe lay the foundation and start you on the process of developing the habit of writing 15 minutes every day. So the key is to continue what you started, so you'll eventually accomplish your goals 1 15 minute segment at a time. So the title of today's lesson is don't break the chain. As a young comedian, Jerry Seinfeld honed his skills by writing a joke every single day, every day that he wrote a joke. He put a big X on the calendar. The longer the chain of X is, the more committed he was to writing a joke daily so that he wouldn't break the chain. So the idea is that small actions, when done, consistently yield big results. Now you've already crunched the numbers, and you know how many words you can write in only 15 minutes a day. Now it's time to make that a habit, so I'm gonna give you a couple of tools to help with that. But first, let's get in our 15 minutes of writing. So the task is to continue where you left off with your writing yesterday, and if you completed a task yesterday, pick something new from your list. Either way, set the timer for 15 minutes and right. And once you finish your writing, I want you to select a tool for tracking your writing habit. I have a list in the resource pdf of some of the tools that I like, but I'll just briefly name them here, and then you can go there to check them out. First. You can use a big wall calendar, and you can just Markoff X's on the calendar as you write each day. And that's a great visual way to show that you haven't broken your chain or if you break your chain, it's real obvious that you have. And so it's very motivating. Next is an app for Android. It's called Habit Hub, and that's what I personally use. And then there's also an app called coach dot me, and it's available for both IOS and Android. Now, finally, I want you to end your time today by taking just a minute to evaluate how things went for you this week. If you missed any days, don't beat yourself up. The main thing is to make consistent progress. So instead of beating yourself up for what you didn't get done, celebrate every success, no matter how small. I hope you enjoyed this writing challenge and I wish you the best in all of your writing endeavors when, by the way, if you enjoy this writing challenge, I'd really appreciate it if you would leave me a positive review so that others can find this class as well. Thank you so much. I also would love it if you let me hear about your writing success in the next video. I'm gonna share a quick project with you to wrap up this challenge 11. Your Project: hi and welcome to the project section of this class. Now, in a sense, each video in this class included a project, and hopefully you've been completing those along the way in terms of what to share with the rest of us. I'd love it if you'd share your big picture goal for your writing. I'd also like you to share what lesson in this class helped you the most. And finally, I want you to take a picture of your timer or the app you're using for you writing and share it with the rest of us. Thank you so much for taking this class. I wish you the best and all of your writing endeavors. And if you have any questions or need any help, be sure to post in the discussion area of this class and I will welcome the opportunity to help you out. Thanks so much. Happy writing