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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Tips for writing when life is busy

   
Author Topic: Tips for writing when life is busy
mayflower988
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Just wanted to let everyone know - I've been accepted to seminary! I'm really excited, but I know my fiction writing will have to take a backseat for now. I may be able to make time for it, a few minutes here and there, but not nearly as much as I have been. So if you don't see me around here, don't worry - I haven't dropped off the face of the earth! Anyone have tips for writing fiction when one has a super-busy lifestyle? What are some ways yall have found to squeeze in writing time? How do you continue the flow of a writing session when you may only have a few minutes at a time? Any thoughts relating to this subject are welcome!
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Robert Nowall
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When you absolutely-positively have to write---something I let slide, because I don't absolutely-positively have to---you might try writing some short amount first thing when you get up in the morning, before breakfast or (if you're younger) the bathroom.
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extrinsic
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Mental composition is what I do when my week's workload runs into every waking moment. I carry a pocket notebook, a mechanical pencil, and a tiny but powerful audio recorder for documenting bits and pieces, though I prefer to let the thought bits and pieces ferment in my subconscious and double-boil in my foremind mangle until they coalesce into a coherent whole.
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wise
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Congratulations, mayflower988! Extrinsic's method works for me, as well. I have lots of little pieces of paper on which I have written thoughts, inspirations, or questions to come back to when I have more time. I usually don't write well in little bursts of time. I have to purposefully set aside at least an hour, preferably 3-4 hours, to get quality work done.

If I don't have much time to work on a longer piece, I reread the last chapter I wrote to get my mind on track and perhaps write a few thoughts down on what I want to do next. Then, when I have more time, I have a starting place and a quick reminder of what I might want to do.

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Robert Nowall
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Belated congratulations, too---which I neglected to do on the first pass.

You could also make writing the last thing you do---take a notebook (of whatever kind) to bed and write till you get sleepy.

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JoBird
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Congratulations, this sounds like a really great time in your life. Enjoy it.

As far as writing goes, in my experience, as long as you have the desire, you'll find the time. I think the most important bit of advice for writing when you're busy is to try to remember why you enjoy writing. To remember all the good things that writing does for you.

It's about self-respect, and introversion at times, it's about understanding the world around you, it's about making you think -- understanding your position on topics and themes. It's about understanding yourself as a person.

As long as you hold onto all of those positive things then you'll inevitably find time to devote to it -- because you'll be finding time to devote to your personal enjoyment and personal growth.

***

And now, some practical advice. Consider making a small investment in a voice recorder. They're super cheap as I recall. It might be hard to sit down in front of a computer to compose a story, but you can almost always pull out your recorder, and talk into it.

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mayflower988
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Thanks, everyone! I'll use as many of these as I can. Keep 'em coming!
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