Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Writing Tip: Finding Time to Write

Everyone is busy.  Most writers have regular jobs, commutes, family commitments, kids, pets, and other interests competing for their time.  This makes it difficult to find the time to write.  Many people find it impossible to answer the question:

How do you find time to write a book?


The answer is simple.  You don't.  Unfortunately, you don't live in an era where you can take a holiday to a beautiful estate in Jamaica, close out the world, write every day for a couple of months, and emerge with a novel.

Instead, you find time to write 50 words or a 100 words or 200 words.  While you don't live in Ian Fleming's era and you can't escape to Goldeneye, you do have more than a portable typewriter at your disposal.  You don't have to follow Ian Fleming's writing routine.  You can write a few paragraphs anytime you want.  You can write them on your phone.  You can write them in an e-mail (not a day job work e-mail) and you can send them to yourself.  You can write them using Google Docs and store them in the cloud.  You can write them every day, every other day, or even just one or two days a week.  The whole point is just to write a little and to write as often as you can.

Just Make Progress.

The cliched old proverb posits that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.  This is true of writing a book as well.  If you make regular progress, you will eventually get a book finished.  This is great for all of us normal mortals who get inspired to write.

For those of us who are writing small snippets in time, here are a few writing tips:

  • Prepare an outline to guide your efforts.
  • Keep a list of characters.
  • Write to a good stopping point whenever possible.
  • Number your chapters so that you can sequence your writing.

Once you get your book finished, you will need to invest a chunk of time on editing and formatting to bring a polished product together.  When you edit, pay attention to make sure your product can be read continuously and seamlessly. 

 

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