So there you are, I bet, all set to read an article on the best food to eat whilst you write? A little list of non-sticky finger foods to keep you going through the day? Thought so.
No, that’s not what I meant.
I’ve been reading a lot lately from people who say they don’t have time to write. But on this site there are all these great bloggers who yearn to be writers, they’re holding down two full time jobs, look after six kids and go to the gym eight days a week. Yet they are writing. I have written a couple of comments lately on lovely blogs, where the guys are stretched to the limit, yet they are writing. How are they doing it?
I’d guess they ‘Snack at it’. When you have no time to make a meal of writing, do it in bite-sized chunks. We have a motto in our house ‘A fast swipe at the sink is better than no swipe at all.’ I came across this phrase years ago and it was intended to give students a boot up the bootie with the washing up. In other words, you might not get time to do the lot, but do what you can.
And it works for writing.
1. Collecting the kinds from school? Five minutes outside the school gate with a pen and paper. Waiting for them during swimming club, you’ve half an hour there. Stop nattering and write.
2. The loo and bath are good places for quick jottings. On the other hand, unless you have three hands, writing while brushing your teeth is never going to work.
3. In the hairdressers. Don’t read the magazines, write for them.
4. Going to work. If you’re on the train or bus, whip out that notepad and scribble. If you’re driving, turn the radio off then plot through a scene, write it up quickly when you get there. I wrote a panto like this once. Worked each scene in my head on the journey, wrote it down on arrival at work, then the same again on the way home.
5. Get up an hour earlier. Or even two. If you want to get that novel finished, then you will have to sacrifice sleep for your art. No, I don’t do mornings either, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
6. Set targets. Even if it’s only 100 words, if you do it every day, it soon adds up.
7. Use the timer on the cooker if you need to be somewhere at a certain time, but have a few minutes to spare. Don’t waste precious minutes.
If you’re not writing, it’s not about time.
It’s about wanting.