Story Circle Network Weekend Writers' Toolkit

Our SCN writing community offers its members many resources. If you're a member, you can get a boost for your writing practice with our free Weekend Writers' Toolkit, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

For many of us, the weekend offers an extra hour or two for writing. To help you make the most of this precious time, we'll send you our free Weekend Writers' Toolkit. It includes:

  • exercises to strengthen your writing muscles;
  • how-to advice and links to helpful articles and books for your writing journey;
  • inspiring, thought-provoking quotes about the writing life.

Timed writing is just one example of the kind of writing exercises you'll find in your kit. All you have to do is set a timer for 10 minutes and go! You may spit out seeds for stories or just string sentences together for the pleasure of writing. Don't overthink this—just grab a pen (or sit down at your keyboard) and write as fast as you can, ahead of your internal critic. Here's a topic:

Write about the first home you lived in.
What is your fondest memory of that place?

Why Ten Minutes?

Judy Reeves in her book, A Writer's Book of Days, lists the benefits of timed writing:

  • It becomes easier to actually do the writing (anybody can write for ten or fifteen minutes).
  • A tension is created that enables you to focus.
  • The writer is allowed to forget herself and be present in the writing.
  • It evokes spontaneity; there's no time to think or ponder.
  • It keeps the writer writing, moving forward to the next word, instead of rewriting, reconsidering, rethinking.
  • With an end in sight, it's easier to begin.
  • There's freedom in knowing you don't have to finish; you just stop when the time is up. Consequently you take more risks.
  • Writing time can easily be fit into a too-full schedule.
  • Writing that doesn't work or isn't interesting can be abandoned when the time is up.
  • On the other hand, that same writing can turn interesting if pursued for the full amount of time.

"Writing isn't about destination—writing is the journey
that transforms the soul and gives meaning to all else."
—Sue Grafton

It is deeply satisfying to see our words fill the page. Imagine how much more gratifying, empowering and validating it can be to share your work with other women writers and receive their heart-warming responses. Story Circle provides you with this opportunity when you join an Internet Chapter writing e-circle ($20 for SCN members; to join the Internet Chapter, go here). There, you'll be among women with whom you can share your writing journey.