by Jemi Fraser
This is one of those crazy busy times for me. We have provincial testing going on, then report cards and the year end wrap up (we're in school until the end of June here). Add in family, house, friends, coaching and volunteer obligations as well as life in general and I'm busy ... and completely wiped out most of the time.
I bet it does. Of course, the details are going to differ, but we're all busy, busy, BUSY. So, how do we fit in our passion for the written word? It's not always easy, but I've found some things that help me. Maybe they'll help you too.
1. Think of time in 10 or 15 minute chunks. Seriously. Looking for a continuous hour or two during the week is impossible for me. If I felt I needed a full hour in order to write, I'd never get anything done. But, if I have a 15 minute window, I grab it and feel good. It's amazing how those 15 minutes add up!
2. Eliminate those quirks. I've heard stories about what some writers need in order to get in the mood to write (a specific drink at hand, a tasty treat, 10 minutes to exercise/stretch/meditate/relax first, a favourite chair or special playlist, ...). Sure, there are some things that help us get into the ultimate writing mode, but because I rarely have time for them, I've learned to live without, and now it doesn't take any time at all to get into the scene.
3. Learn to write with noise. I know! This is probably really, really difficult for some of you, but I think it helps. Although I do find it awkward writing an intimate romantic scene with my son and his buddies in the living room, I've learned to sit in the corner, angle the laptop and type away while still participating in life around me. It probably helps that I prefer background noise to silence in the first place, but you might be surprised too. It's far easier to find a place with a hum of background noise than a place of silence. Embrace it!
4. Leave a scene hanging. It's much harder for me to start a new scene than to finish up a scene I'm in the middle of and loving. That unfinished scene won't let me go, and when I find those 10 minutes, my fingers are ready to fly! Sometimes I even leave myself mid-sentence. Stressful, yes, but I definitely don't need time to get back in the scene when I return to it.
5. Work on your project every day. Or as often as you can. I don't kick myself if I miss a day, but even if I can't get in actual writing time, I get in some thinking time on my story every day. It keeps it alive in my head and gears me up for the time I do have.
Do you use any of those tips? Do you have any more to add?
Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of contemporary romance. She blogs and tweets while searching for those