If not, your time will make the least of you.
Here are some strategies that I have developed over the years.
If you are like most people you have other commitments than just your writing. You’ve got kids and job, school, whatever.
So you must find time to write in the nooks and crannies of your busy day.
This is actually perfect because…
There Is A Misconception About Writing
Most people think of Ernest Hemingway sitting down at his typewriter and banging out Old Man and the Sea for hours on end.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There was a lot that went on before he sat down to write.
Your characters and scenes and pieces of dialogue will come to you in bits and pieces throughout the day.
- You may see a girl with long, jet black hair at a restaurant and that becomes a characteristic of your heroine.
- You may hear someone say something like “kiss the south end of a north bound horse” and decide to use that for one of your characters to say.
Time management is about taking advantage of the times you are not actually writing anything.
If you are constantly thinking about your novel you will find the coincidences of your life constantly giving you bits and pieces of it.
Chance Favors The Prepared
You need to be ready to catch these little gems!
Keep a note pad and a pen with you at all times! These things will come to you at the oddest times.
I can’t tell you how many times I was dead tired, wanted to go to bed, but had to keep getting up because I had great ideas that would have been lost otherwise.
So Now What?
Once you have gathered all your notes, now is the time when you will need larger chunks of time to sort them all out and organize them.
Pick a task geared around the amount of time you have.
If you have a day where you only have a half hour and you are at the beginning of the novel writing process you can do a few things.
You can organize your notes around a character.
- Find some physical descriptions you like and put them together with a bit of dialogue or slang word you could see that character using. Over the course of the half hour you will come to a better idea of who that character is and what his purpose is.
You could also put together a scene.
- Write some notes on who belongs in the scene and what should happen and where it goes in the plot line.
Or, if you are closer to finishing your novel you could…
Revise a single paragraph or a sentence.
- I remember rewriting a single paragraph over and over again over the course of an entire day.
In a half hour you may not be able to do everything, but you’ll definitely get something done.