Before kids, I wrote every Saturday morning from 5:30am until 9am. It was beautiful. I had enough time to finish a chapter, or, well, enough time to finish anything really.
That time is gone but my kids are a blessing. I’d never trade one for the other. And my life is so much fuller now, allowing me to draw from these deeper experiences and use them as fuel to write better novels and short stories.
Below is a list of several ways to keep your writing going when you schedule gets busy. I’ve used them all and I hope you find this list helpful.
- During Lunch Break – You can write on your iphone or android phone. If a library is close by head there or simply bring a pad of paper and write by hand.
- While in the Waiting Room – If you have meetings with a client or have a dentist or doctor’s appointment be sure to bring something to write with.
- While Preparing Dinner – There are times when I might have to wait for the water to boil, the sauce to simmer, and the dishes are done. This means I need to be present but not actively preparing a meal. Have your notebook ready for these spare minutes.
- Right Before Bed – Instead of reading 20 pages of a book, write one or two pages of your own.
- Early Early Morning – Like 4:30. Yes I know. Yikes. But you love this remember?
- During Nap Time – If you are a stay at home dad/mom, and still have this time, use it while you can.
- During Breakfast – Some people read the newspaper during breakfast or read a novel, you can work on yours.
- As the Kids Play – This sounds like terrible parenting, but our kids do need to learn to live without us hovering over them, right? So, if they are playing quietly, get a few sentences down during the peace before rushing to the housecleaning, work projects, etc..
- Be there 15-20 Minutes Early – Wherever there may be: grocery store, work, meeting, etc.. This is different than the waiting room tip as you have created this space and are not waiting on someone else. Imagine using them both together. Is that 40-50 minutes??
- In Between Commercials – If you wind down by watching television try to get a few paragraphs in the 17 minutes of commercials during that hour long show.
These are not fool proof or the only way to do it, but I hope you found them helpful or at least made you think of how you can use those lost minutes to work on your novel.
Do you have any other suggestions? Please post them in the comment section below.