Time to Write; What to Write

1 May

If you haven’t got an idea, start a story anyway. You can always throw it away, and maybe by the time you get to the fourth page you will have an idea, and you’ll only have to throw away the first three pages.- William Campbell Gault

There have been probably thousands of blog posts, articles and even books written on how to find the time to write. And it is a true challenge for those of us who are not to the point in our writing careers where we can devote the majority of our day to uninterrupted time in front of the computer. Most of us have demanding families, day jobs, and all the chores and errands that go along with life in the modern world.

But still we want to write. Well-meaning writing coaches coaches advise us to get up early, stay up late, write on our lunch hours, go out to a coffee shop or the library for an hour or two. All of these suggestions work — sometimes — for some people. But what if you are just too darn tired to get up early or stay up late? Or you have to run to the drug store on your lunch hour? Or you need to be home with children or waiting for a plumber, so the coffee shop is out?

The solution I have found is two-fold. One — I write all the time. Early, late, at home, at work, occasionally in a coffee shop. I have my spiral notebook or my net book computer with me. Whether it is a few minutes or a nice solid hour, I write. I work as a substitute teacher, and I actually wrote the better part of a novel while walking around the classroom supervising high school students. And they thought I was making notes about their behavior!

The second part of my solution is to write what means something to me. I am in the position right now where I am finishing up a few projects, and looking for something new to work on. I had a couple of ideas for follow-ups to things I had written, but they weren’t calling to me. I couldn’t get started. I have also been toying around with the idea of writing about my parents and how they met at the beginning of World War II. I have letters, scrapbooks and a short memoir that my dad wrote, so I have the basis of their story. I sat down yesterday and today and wrote a sizable chunk of the beginning of their story. Each day, I couldn’t stop until I finished what I wanted to say.

How do you create time to write? Does what your are writing influence how much time you spend?

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One Response to “Time to Write; What to Write”

  1. By The Hilt May 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    “I actually wrote the better part of a novel while walking around the classroom supervising high school students. And they thought I was making notes about their behavior!”
    I got a real kick out of this! Deliciously evil!

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