Monday, March 11, 2013

Tips & Tricks for Writing on the Go

by MarcyKate Connolly

One of the drawbacks of life in general is that it takes up an awful lot of time. Things like work, family, and friends can seriously cut into one's writing days. So what's an author to do if s/he wants to actually, you know, write?

Take heart, dear writer, for it can be done. Here's some tips I've found helpful when I have to write on the go:

1) Always have something to write with on your person. This could be a netbook, iPad, smartphone, or simply a pen and paper. If you don't have those tools, you can't write, can you?

2) Don't waste a minute. Standing in line at a store? Waiting to pick up your kids? Train running late? Take out your writing instrument of choice and get to it. Yeah, you may only jot down a few words, but how many times a day do you find yourself waiting? Those minutes--and words--add up faster than you'd think.

3) Look for every opportunity. It's easy to let those little moments slip by. And hey, sometimes we all just need a break to relax. But if you're drafting or on deadline, maybe take more of them to write instead?

4) Ask for help. Communication is key. Make sure your family knows what you're up against. They might be more understanding than you think.

5) Voice recording and Speech to Text apps. Ideal for those with a long commute by car (though not so much by train or carpool), apps like Dragon Dictation or Evernote can help you save those ideas even if you don't have your hands free. Just keep your eyes on the road, please!

6) Shower Post it notes. GENIUS. Enough said.

MarcyKate Connolly writes middle grade and young adult fiction and becomes a superhero when sufficiently caffeinated. When earthbound, she blogs at her website and spends far too much time babbling on Twitter. Her debut upper MG fantasy novel, MONSTROUS, will be out from HarperCollins Children's Books in Summer 2014.


Sophie Perinot said...

Brilliant! I am a fan of an old-fashioned voice-activated micro-recorder. It can ride in your passenger seat and come in handy in the grocery story or anywhere the words come to you.

Brenda Drake said...

POST ITS in the shower? Definitely genius!!

MarcyKate said...

@Sophie - Personally, I'm a little too shy to use the voice recorder in a public place, but I do think it's great when you're flying solo.

@Brenda - RIGHT??? :D

SC Author said...

That's awesome. I want to try voice-to-text but I like editing too much.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've done Dragon with my kids at school & its an awesome tool! Great advice MK :)

Nicki Elson said...

Shower Post-It Notes are real??? I though it was only a dream. THIS is an awesome development. And I've finally learned to just warn the family when they need to give mommy her space - and you're right, they were much more understanding than I expected.

Lynn Proctor said...

wow that shower idea, is genius!

lbdiamond said...

Shower post-it notes, LOL! A novel idea!

Tammy Theriault said...

Love the tips...always good to have a small purse notebook!

Debra McKellan said...

This is why I love my phone. I've written poems and pieces of stories in the car.

ccpietri said...

Loved the shower post-it notes!

Any tips for when inspirations strikes but you are at work?

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