Hanging on to Writing Time

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It seems no matter what I do, life has ways to pull me away from my writing. Social, family, and work obligations; unexpected happenings, good and bad, all seem to conspire to keep me from writing. So how do I hang on to writing and more importantly, how do I keep my head in a story when real life pulls me from any significant writing time?

One way is to simply make sure I take a few minutes to close my eyes and picture my characters. I try to imagine, if only for a minute, what they may be doing. I try to keep myself in the story periodically throughout the day and let my subconscious work on the details. I think keeping the feeling of the work alive is essential for me.

I work visually. I can see the characters and the setting. So when I can’t sit down and actually write, I work on that vision and concentrate on specific details so I can keep the feeling of the work alive until I get back to my desk. When I have the time to devote to serious writing, those details are all there and ready to pour onto the page.

I always carry some form of a notebook and one of my favorite pens. I’ve found any small, thin notebook handy; one that will fit in a purse or a pocket. That way if a phrase or image pops into my head, I’m ready to jot down a few words or a sentence to jog my memory later and I don’t lose it.

And finally, just writing every day, even if it’s just a sentence or two, somehow keeps the story alive. I find that if I let too many days go by it takes longer and longer to get back into the story I’m working on.

What tips do you to keep the writing going even when life conspires to steal us away from it?

7 thoughts on “Hanging on to Writing Time

  1. Bailey Jackson says:

    Hhmmm, interesting post. I also carry a little notebook around with me, (and if anyone ever found it and read it, they’d think I was some kind of insane occultist or something hahaha).

    But what works best for me is simply making time to write. I make it a priority, and to make sure it stays that way I have this little log I keep pinned to the wall by my desk. I put it in a place where it’s constantly in my line of sight while I’m at my computer. On it I have my goal for every day and a space to record how much I write every day. It’s really nice to be able to look back and see how much you’ve written. Also, if I meet my goal for 20 days straight and then don’t for one or two, it’s a nice guilt trip and usually gets me writing again.

    • Great idea Bailey! Keeping a log that you can see all the time would be a great incentive to keep going. And I know what you mean about anyone finding your notebook. I feel the same way. There is a lot of crazy free writing in mine! Thank you!

  2. I write in the only free time that is 100% mine. My lunch hour. And I devise stories while I’m driving too and from work. Without that time, I’d get nothing done.

    • Driving time is a great way to mull over stories. I’ve done that and then hope I can remember what I came up with until I can stop and jot down a few notes. Thank you, Jennifer!

      • If I have something really good, I keep repeating it over and over in my head until I get home. Then I do the same thing on the way to work. By the time I get to writing it, it’s a pretty well edited, tight scene. Sometimes, yes, I forget some of it, and it’s stinky. I tried talking into a voice recorder, but my voice doesn’t speak as fast as my brain thinks, and it was just to hard.

  3. Michael56j says:

    Great suggestions. I am going to try this.

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