Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Finding the Time: Ways You can Squeeze in Writing Time (Part 2)

Song of the Day: Clocks by Coldplay

    Hello all! A week ago I wrote part one to this post. It was called, "Finding the Time: How to Balance WIP + Submissions + Life." I thought it would be beneficial if I also posted a part two about actually finding the time to write. With all of life's distractions, I'm sometimes left without a chance to sit down and write. I'm a huge believer of the saying, "You make time for what you want to make time for." If you want to be a serious writer, then you must make time. A few quick suggestions. I'm sure you've heard this before, but ALWAYS keep a notebook with you. It doesn't matter the kind. Some people like moleskins, others prefer spiral. The point is to always have paper if an idea or inspiration strikes. Second, invest in a netbook. My parents bought me a netbook for Christmas a little over a year ago, and it's very convenient. It's much lighter, can be tossed in your bag, and has a longer battery life than a laptop (my battery lasted the entire way of a four hour drive to Miami, and still had power left over.) Now, here are ways you can get some writing in.

1. While you're waiting at the doctor's office, the mechanic shop, the nail shop, etc.

You know how sometimes (despite making an appointment) you have to wait in the waiting room to see the doctor? Instead of grabbing that magazine, grab a pen and your notebook. Or, if you carry it around, your laptop/netbook. Do you know how much writing I've done waiting at the hair salon? (Both in the waiting room and under the dryer!) Even if you are only waiting for five minutes, you can get a lot in. Something is better than nothing.

2. If you use public transportation, write on the bus or train.

Unfortunately, I don't live in a place where transportation is at its best. In Florida, you pretty much NEED to have a car. But those of you who are lucky enough to be able to ride a train or bus somewhere, should take advantage of that time. You really have no excuse!

3. Have you ever been a couple minutes early for work? Use that as writing time.

I'm a little crazy when it comes to this one. I'm paranoid about time whenever I have to be somewhere important, so I'm always 30 minutes early for work. I sometimes use the time to read, but during National Novel Writing Month, I wrote large chunks of my novel in the car before work. Many times I would end up writing at least half of my daily word count goal.

4. Write on your lunch break.

I get an hour for lunch so it's actually very beneficial for me to write on my break. On average people get at least thirty minutes for lunch. Lots of words can be written in thirty minutes. If you don't want to get too involved in your story, why not use the time to make outlines of novels or short stories?

5. At your kid's soccer match.

My boss attends every one of her children's soccer games. She once joked about the other moms making fun of her because she was always working on her cases. Some of you might say, that you don't want to miss a big moment, but there are always breaks in sports. You can at least write on the breaks. And I'm not just talking soccer. You can write during basketball, football, lacrosse, track. You get the picture.

Writing should never be about quantity and it's not a race. You can progress your WIP in small amounts of time. What  about you? When do you find the time to write?


  1. Great advice, sis! And your netbook was inspiration for me and Pam to get ours, so thanks for that :) Also, I do use my 26 mins of lunch sometimes to write--I think that's a great piece of info, there. Thanks for this post- really awesome stuff here!

  2. This is so great for me right now. I'm about to move and start a new job, so my schedule is about to change drastically. I'll need all the scheduling in writing time help I can get!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  3. I did a lot of my nanowrimo novel before work and at lunch too. Most of the time though, I use those breaks to read since I try to devote all hours after 5 PM for writing. What's hard for me is to make sure I get both writing and reading in during the week. Do you have that difficulty too?

  4. Yeah, no kidding... those are the ONLY times I have to write... unless I wake at the crack of dawn, which I often do. :)
    So thanks for stopping by mu blog. Yeah I guess you wouldn't be going to that if you don't write YA/MG... I am not a member of FWA... should I be? Is it good?
    Anyway, feel free to email me. I'm in Carrollwood area. :)

  5. Awesome advice! I have stolen time away from my lunch break to write...and maybe when I wasn't on my lunch break. Shh, don't tell!

  6. Great tips! I always carry a notebook with me and I use my work commute (on the NYC subway) and my lunch hour to get writing done. When you work full time you have to squeeze writing in whenever you can! :)

  7. I use my phone to jot down notes and title ideas (I suck at titles btw). Also at my 9-to-5- job, I write through my lunchbreaks, I have little writing notepads everywhere. I also take at least one day out of the week to sit in the library and act like writing is my full-time job...well, at least for a few hours. It works, I get the most done then.