Yes, it’s possible to write a solid first draft even if you don’t have a lot of time. Especially with these three simple ways to tap creativity and boost productivity with just 30 minutes a day or less. 

I’m Nicole Breit, award winning essayist and creator of the Spark Your Story Lab. Today I want to share three time-saving creativity hacks you can start using now to write better first drafts faster than you may think possible.

If you struggle with finding the time and energy to write, this video is for you!


Watch The Video Here.


In ‘How To Write A First Draft In < 30 Minutes’, You’ll learn:

  • Three simple ways to tap creativity and boost productivity.
  • The first step to writing a good draft.
  • How to make decisions up front about what belongs in the story.
  • Why time constraints help write a first draft fast.




Your Key Takeaways From, ‘How To Write A First Draft In < 30 Minutes’

Here are three simple tips to tap creativity, boost productivity and get that first draft going.

Tip #1: Start with the shape

Most of us start writing creative nonfiction or memoir about an event or experience. That’s our starting place. But that approach can quickly begin to feel overwhelming and even unwieldy. When I begin without some kind of constraints or structure in place I overwrite and sometimes I even find myself writing in circles. 

Although some instructors advise freewriting and then letting the story suggest a structure as it unfolds it saves me time and effort to begin with a creative challenge for myself – and that is starting with a shape. By that I mean I decide up front on whether I’m going to shape my material as a flash essay written in one block of text or a poem in three parts. 

Tip #2: Limit your word count

This is a variation on tip #1 but instead of imposing structural constraints you’re limiting how many words your piece can be. 

Limiting your word count can help focus by forcing you to make decisions up front about what belongs in the story. What is most important to include? What is the story’s essence?

By imposing a limit you’re going to practice the art of compression – an important writing skill that will help improve all your writing.

Tip #3: Set a timer and sprint!

Surprise! – my final tip is an invitation to impose another kind of constraint. It’s incredible how energizing and productive a writing session can be when you set a timer for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. Although I’ve been doing timed writing practice for years I’m always surprised at how much I can get done in a small space of time when I know there’s a set stopping point.  

Now that I’ve shared these three time saving creative writing tips with you, let me know in the comments which one you’re most excited to try!

If you loved these tips, be sure to tune into my free training on how to write award worthy essays. You’ll find the link in the resources above!