Thursday, May 7, 2015
When You Have No Time to Write
I’ll admit, life has been throwing me a few curveballs lately! They aren’t necessarily bad curveballs (and could even be great curveballs) as long as I can hit them correctly. But, hitting them just right requires a lot of time, energy, and focus. (And I’ll also admit that I don’t know much about baseball, so I hope that analogy works!)
While those curveballs are taking a huge toll on my writing time, I’ve also realized that it’s during the somewhat tumultuous times that I need writing the most. The creative release helps me refocus and re-energize.
But where to fit it in amongst all these other tasks and concerns? I usually type, but I’ve since bought a small notebook that I carry everywhere so I can write whenever I’ve got a moment. Just this morning, on my commute, I sketched out a new outline (which I fleshed out in my head while falling asleep/taking a shower/walking around, etc.) that I’m pretty excited about! So even if I haven’t been able to get lost for hours in a world (something I love doing), I still have ideas percolating and I’m getting things down.
What do you do to fit in writing even when the rest of life demands a lot of you?
Dan: Finding time to write got more complicated when I had kids, which should surprise exactly no one. Now, I usually make time first thing in the morning or after they've gone to bed. It's tough, because the morning time is limited and the night time has me fighting against the urge to sleep. But I agree, it's good to keep going even when life gets crazy.
I'm a big fan of the notebook and pen method. Not only can you carry a notebook and pen just about anywhere, you can often get away with using them to write/outline/plan without being obviously-on-the-computer. It's useful for finding little moments of downtime and getting down ideas when they strike.
Lisa: This is the prompt I needed this week. Your notebook advice is most welcome, Dan and Caitlin. I've been so sad and disturbed about my lack of writing time lately, and I was just trying to figure out how I'm going to juggle it all. And the "all" I'm talking about are very necessary and desired parts of my life. I've nearly cut out all of television, though I could finish cutting the rest of that out. It does nothing for me, not even in the storytelling/research department. I am realizing I'm no longer taking anything in, just entertaining myself. And really, it'd be so much better (and efficient) to entertain myself in my own stories. So, that's my advice, cut down on television and the time you cut will surprise you as far as how much you can put toward your writing. And I'll use the above advice - take a notebook with me. Which I do already, but it had become more of an inactive object rather than an active writing device. It was for "if I think of something" instead of "so I can think of something." Also, I've been wasting a lot more time on social media than I used to. I realize that writers need to stay involved in that department, but if I'm not writing anything, there'll be nothing for followers to read eventually. Writing is more important.