Write for Ten


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As I sip my espresso, i see in the corner of my eye a jogger in blue. Day-old snow covers the sidewalk. They have turned brown and gray from foot traffic. Another jogger runs by. I sip my espresso.

I’m sitting alone in Crepes Parissienes in the middle of the afternoon with my iPhone for my companion. I have been revising a research paper all day. I started feeling sleepy an hour ago, so I took a lonely jaunt here. The cafe is warm. I’m facing the vertical windows. Fellow coffee drinkers and the friendly kitchen staff are behind me. I hear them talking, but their conversations blend together.

I sip my espresso again. I may have to write this same sentence again 10 more times given the amount I got. For $1.66, I got a great deal.

138 words in 11 minutes at 09:26 PM on Jan 06, 2010 | comments

What should I name this project of writing for ten minutes each day? My initial thought was Just Take Ten, which was inspired by a book about ten-minute writing exercises that I gave my sister. Unfortunately, justtaketen.com is taken.

Another idea is to use the Tagalog word for ten: sampo. Perhaps the sampo project? Interestingly, sampo also means some magical object in Finnish.

The past couple of days, I’ve been considering “The Log Ten Project”. It’s a nice word play. Log is synonymous with journaling and daily writing. Ten refers to the 10-minute constraint of the project. log10 or log base 10 is known as the common logarithm in mathematics. The domain name logten.org is available.

How about Ten-A-Day? I bet tenaday.com is available. However, I think the name implies that you must only write one 10-minute log per day. The overall goal of the site is to encourage fearless writing. Just write for 10 minutes without concern.

Hmmm…perhaps I should consider justtaketen.org

163 words in 11 minutes at 09:07 PM on Jan 05, 2010 | comments

Today, i woke up energized and decided to clear the snow in front of my house. The snow has been piling since mid-December before I went to Seattle for winter break. All the houses around me have shoveled sidewalks; my house should too.

I expected that much of the layers have been packed into ice making it more difficult to shovel. Luckily, some of the parts that did ice were thin and I easily broke them with the tip of the shovel. I cleared about four inches of snow in half an hour.

Clearing the sidewalk brings me such relief; I’ve put it off long enough. I also got some physical activity out of it, which prepares me for the rest of today.

123 words in 10 minutes at 03:13 PM on Jan 04, 2010 | comments

What is this project?

This project is a site for writing. It is for writers of various skill levels, from writers who are trying to develop a daily writing regimen to writers who are trying to spark their creative fuses.

This project works under a simple premise: write something within 10 minutes. Because of this constraint, the writing doesn’t have to be perfect nor complete; they likely will not be. The idea is to just get you to write whatever. The 10-minute constraint frees you up from the shackles of procrastination to editing paralysis to the fear of writing.

Use this project to develop a habit of writing everyday. Use it to overcome writer’s block. Use it to free your mind to generate creative ideas. Use it to peruse the public writings of fellow users.

This project is a writing sketchbook.

141 words in 10 minutes at 08:52 PM on Jan 03, 2010 | comments

If you’re like me, you probably have a fear of writing. That blank sheet or screen is full of written possibilities and you want a perfect one. Unfortunately, that vision of perfection paralyses you. You write a few words and your inner critic (whom I will call Stephan) whispers, “those words don’t sound right.” You erase some words, enter new ones, shuffle some around. You add a few words, then Stephan steps in again; the process continues. 10 minutes of this and you’re exhausted. Yet you only have 10 measly words (barely a sentence or two) to show for the effort.

This project is a way to break out of this paralysis brought on by too much editing by your inner critic. This project encourages you to just take 10 minutes to shut Stephan and just let the sentences spill out.

Of course, at the end of 10 minutes your free to edit your work. But now in just 10 minutes you may have 10 sentences (about a paragraph with several ideas) to work with instead of just 10 words. Now, you can invite Stephan back. Roll up your sleeves and edit.

192 words in 13 minutes at 08:19 PM on Jan 02, 2010 | comments

Name Ian Li
Location Pittsburgh, PA
Web http://ianli.com/
Bio Creator of Write for Ten.
Posts 75

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