Author of The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, etc.

C.M. Mayo < For Writers < Giant Golden Buddha
Five Reasons for 5 Minutes

1. To Train the Brain to Get Into the Habit of Writing
How do you write a 500 page book? Or, for that matter, a poem? A piddling 5 minutes at a time. When you're not feeling ready to commit to writing a short story, magazine article, or, (gulp) a novel, brief exercises (which of course, can expand to any length of time) can serve as a bit of track to run on, as it were. The more often you write, the easier it gets.

2. To Train the Brain to Imagine More Vividly with Ease
And how do you conjure a vivid world for readers? By use of vivid detail that appeals to the senses (smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch), by convincingly conveying other points of view and by playfully exploring that ever-strange energy of 'what if?' For the most part, these are the tasks of the 5 minute writing exercises.

3. To Enhance the Flow Tomorrow
Alas, there are days even for full-time writers when it is impossible to block out the ideal number of hours for writing. On such days, if you can write intensely for 5 minutes even just 5 minutes the writing "muscle" stays pumped so that the following day, the writing once again flows.

4. To Bust a Block
For those with writers block whose excuses usually include variations of "I don't have time" and/or "my writing must be super special & perfect or else why bother" five minutes is a low bar indeed. (By the way, if the block is bad, try setting an alarm clock or an egg timer, and promise yourself, when it rings in 5 minutes, you'll quit writing. A bit of reverse psychology.)

5. To Seed Something Big & Wonderful