Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Finding More Time to Write

Here's a question I get asked a lot: "Where do you find the time to write?" My response is usually one of the following:

(a) I have no idea
(b) Sleep is overrated
(c) Hermione's Time-Turner

Ms. Granger, can I borrow that?
The answer, of course, is (d) All of the above. Seriously, though, one technique that really helps me find extra writing time is something that I like to call "Writing In My Head."

The basic premise is simple: you don't have to be at your computer keyboard in order to write. You can write while you do other things that you have to be doing anyway.

You can write while doing chores. You can write while tending to personal hygiene. You can write while doing thirty minutes on the stationary bike at the gym (okay, technically you could skip the gym and sit in front of your computer instead, but c'mon.)

And how is this done, you ask? Simple - just think about your writing as you do these activities. I often work out plot points in the shower, come up with character motivations while folding laundry, and, yes, even compose lines of prose and dialogue as I walk through the grocery store (important caveat: make sure that these are activities that don't require your full attention and concentration. Folding laundry is okay, because if you fold your t-shirt backwards, no real harm is done. In most cases.)

Basically, just replace whatever idle thoughts you used to have with productive thinking. A side benefit that this technique has had for me is that it keeps my mind off of how terrible the Mariners are yet again. Another benefit is that, often, doing this will get me into the writing "mode." Or "mood." Whatever. Sometimes I'll get so into a groove that once I do sit back down at the keyboard to capture the idea I was thinking about, the words will just continue to flow. For example, I actually wrote this blog post while I was brushing my teeth this morning.

Well, gotta run and take care of other things on my to-do list. Now where did I leave that time-turner...

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