Monday, March 17, 2014

Finding Time to Write

Who has time to write?

By the look of my local Barnes and Noble, hundreds of people. No... thousands. What's their secret? Beats me. It's a secret.

I've found two things that work for me though.  The first is to set aside a time to write. But if I blogged about that today, this entry would already be over. What's the second method?

I blogged a few months back about Finding the Cracks. When you have spare time, use it to write. And I don't mean spare time, like when you have an unexpected three hours because the cable went out (even though that's an opportunity.) I mean ten minutes. Twenty. I'm talking about the cracks in your schedule.

The difficulty is in recognizing these opportunities.  That's where this list comes in. Here are times you might not otherwise think about as opportunities to write:

  1. Do you have children? Do they play organized sports? Are they any good? If the answers to these questions are (Yes, Yes and No) then you have a built in time for writing. Take your notebook or laptop with you to the sidelines and get to work. If anyone gets upset at you for this, that just helps you create more believable conflict.

  2. Work meetings. You've probably been in The Meeting That Would Not Die. Most of us have.  Here's a tip. Always take a writing pad with you. You should do this anyway, so you can take notes. And note taking is a built in excuse for plotting your next novel.  Oh, and here's another tip. Do you make weird faces when you're trying to write your characters' reactions? Then keep your facial expressions at a minimum during your manager's big presentation. I figured that one out the hard way.

  3. Repetitive arguments are a fantastic time to get more writing in.  I'm talking about that disagreement, probably (but not necessarily with a significant other) that never goes anywhere. She says "You're always distracted." You say, "Always is an absolute statement. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say I'm sometimes distracted?" And she says, "What are you doing? Writing?" Hmm. Come to think of it, try to arrange for the argument to take place over the phone. Otherwise, you're more likely to lose.
See? Right there are three quick and easy ways to squeeze in more writing. As a bonus, if they leave single, with estranged children and no job, you'll have even MORE time to write!

My ideas are not only good. They're exponentially good. 

See? Even though this post was time consuming, it's totally worth it. You can thank me later.

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