It is nearly the end National Novel Writing Month! (Also, No-Shave-November… one of these I find heavily disturbing, the other only mildly so. I’ll let you guess which one is which.) I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo… college tends to interfere with that, but I’m looking forward to taking a stab at it a year from now. Writing a novel in a month seems an impossible and therefore splendid task that I’d love to conquer.
To those of you partaking of this wonderful tradition, I’d love to give you some encouragement. For those of you who err on the sane side of things, I also want to encourage you about finding time in your crazy life to write. Here are my five tips on how to write in the “cracks.”
By cracks, I mean those spare bits of time that often go unnoticed and get tittered away doing who-really-knows-what. I often fill my cracks with facebook, pinterest, staring aimlessly into space…. Once I realized how much time I was wasting on nothing and how much more writing I could get done, I said, “No more!” and came up with five things I could do to write more without having to drastically change my life.
1.) Bring a notebook EVERYWHERE!
Seriously, this makes a HUGE difference… at least for me. I think about my writing a lot. If I get an idea for a scene, a character, or a blog post, I jot it down in my molskeine notebook. If I don’t jot it down, the idea is forgotten and I kick myself later. To save myself from forgotten brilliance, I have the notebook in my purse at all times. I can jot things down during a break at work, or even write a scene while waiting for appointments. My little notebook really is a lifesaver.
2.) Rehearse a scene
If your job is like mind, it’s pretty brainless. Honestly, I often feel that I am just being used for my hands… to push buttons! Not whatever you were thinking. Regardless, there is a lot of time for me to ponder the intricacies of life. And my novel. I’ll start composing in my head, figuring out where I want a chapter to go or how I will describe things when I actually get a chance to sit down and write. I either jot it in the book or write when I get home. It’s wonderful!
3.) Wake up a half-hour early/ stay up a half-hour late
This is probably my least favorite suggestion here. I LOVE my sleep. This is helpful, though, when your day is going to be pretty busy, but you know you need to get something down on the page. A half-hour is really not going to make or break how rested you feel and I find writing in the morning really energizing.
4.) Schedule a writing date… and keep it!
If I set aside an hour or so in my schedule for writing and writing alone, I am more likely to keep that. If I have an evening set aside for “catching up on things around the house” writing is usually not apart of it. Even though I could write in my discretionary time, I often don’t. I have begun to set aside some of that time as writing time, not just free time.
5.) Take a social networking break
You may have noticed that I have not been tweeting or posting on facebook as much a possible. There is a reason! I was spending a lot of time pouring into social networking for the blog that I was blogging less and, even worse, spending less time on my novel. The novel is priority number one in my writing world. The blog comes second and the social networking can go jump in the lake in this current season. Once my last class is finished and the move is done, things may change, but for now, I need the writing time. You probably do too! Take a break from facebook or pinterest for a day and spend your time instead on your writing. You may find a nice space for your writing in your day!