Just 10 Minutes

My good friend and blogging inspiration, Andrea Badgely, is the master of the 10 minute write.

She writes for 10 minutes and hits “publish”.  She says it’s less important that the posts be perfect than that we just get in the habit of writing every day.

It’s a month early for resolutions, but it’s always a good time to start a good habit, right?  So, with my breath caught in my chest, I’m giving it a shot.


How this blog was originally written: a good ink pen and a legal pad with post-consumer recycled paper. It did take me another 10 minutes to type it into the publisher program online, with a tiny bit of editing. As I write more and more, I hope to have to edit less and less.

The “10” light bulb lit for me when Andrea’s 10 minute write crashed into another concept that I really like:  the “Common 10”.  The common 10 is an idea I’ve adopted (A.K.A. stolen outright) from my friend and fellow NRV Master Naturalist, Bill.  He’s always saying that a great way to really know an ecosystem is to learn its common 10s – common 10 mammals, common 10 song birds, common 10 deciduous trees, and so on.

As the days shorten into late fall and winter, I foresee having fewer good weather hours to go hiking, so I’m going to keep my writing skills honed (read:  slightly less rusty) with 10 minute writes about the common 10s of my little corner of the Appalachians.

Not necessarily in any order, I hope to write short, informative, and fun posts featuring the New River Valley’s fabulous flora and fantastic fauna.

(Holy mackerel, I’ve written all that and I’ve still got two minutes left to write!)

The only question is, where to start?

Lists.  I love lists.  They’re great for getting started.  Here are the Common 10 categories I hope to cover as the winter weeks go by:

  1. Mammals
  2. Birds of Prey
  3. Songbirds
  4. Reptiles
  5. Amphibians
  6. Creek Fish
  7. Pond/River/Lake Fish
  8. Butterflies
  9. Insects
  10. Spiders

Each of those topics should yield 10 posts.  (Though I have no idea how I’m going to whittle common songbirds down to 10 in the middle of bird feeding season.  I can see 12 species from my window right now.)

That’s 100 posts, not counting the snowy hikes and sparkling winter constellations that are sure to inspire.

It’s starting to sound like a lot.  But I can do it – just 10 minutes at a time.



7 thoughts on “Just 10 Minutes

  1. Can you imagine?? (Well, try.) If each of us who read your lists of ten, learns them!!!! OH MY GOoodness. Better even would be to learn also the ten leading characteristics of each. Or perhaps, five? Not blowing my own horn but sharing the joy, I’m working hard right now on my feeling for our weather patterns. How long does it take a storm to travel across country? If you hear it’s snowing in Denver, can you have a true, general feeling for its impact on us? With the miraculous provisions of today’s technology, you take a screen shot each day (or more often) of AccuWeather’s weather map of the U.S., plunk it into a file–and then click through the shotsm quickly. You’ll see your own record of the flow going on. Having a FEELING for the world that surrounds you! It is such a GOOD thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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