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Sunday, November 15, 2009


Stolen Moment

We, as writers, know how difficult it can be to find times to write. With our busy life styles there never seems to be enough time to actually sit and write.

For many of us it is a matter of organizing our writing time around the lives of our families but that can even be difficult to do when you are a parent or when you are at work etc.

As many of you know, the best thing to do is setting time aside specifically for your writing. Which, of course, means early in the morning when the kids are sleeping or late at night after you have attempted to put them to bed about 12 times (okay 13 whose counting). Or how about before you go to work or after you get home? But by the time you have made dinner, cleaned the dishes, and all the other fun chores, you are almost to tired to even sit to begin.

What a lot of us don't realize is the amount of stolen time you actually have that is sitting around waiting to be used to your advantage. Although many of us now prefer to have a computer right in front of us to take care of our tasks, it isn't always necessary to have, a pad of paper and pen or pencil work great as well.

Here are some great times to steal for writing. You will be glad that you did.

1) Sitting in the doctors office- As you know your appointment is never at the right time, no matter how early or late you arrive, in many cases you have upwards of 45 minutes to sit and write. If you can carry a laptop with you, by all means do so, or have pen and paper handy. This is a great time to create a new character, get initial thoughts down for a new article or story or how about using some of your writing practices to get you warmed up for the next stolen moment of time.

2) Car repairs- Most of the customer service waiting areas now have Wi-Fi available, get some of that much needed research taken care of; you will be happy that you did. Not only that, don't forget the free coffee, this will keep your internal engine revved and ready to go.

3) Kids' practice time- Although we all like to socialize with other team parents, it is also a good way to get some writing done and maybe find some new story ideas. All the gossip can be a big help. SHHH... don't tell them what you are up to, do it covertly. There have been a number of occasions I have sat with my laptop sitting on my lap at the soccer field and had other moms wondering what I was up to.

4) Waiting at schools to pick up the kids- Oh, yes, you know how it is sitting in the long lines waiting to pick up the little ones from schools these days. There are times when you can sit in one place for 20 minutes or more. Grab that pen and paper and get to writing, this is your chance to jot down a few ideas before the kids jump in the car.

5) At the movies- We all know that we want to get the best seats in the house for the latest movie, but when you arrive 20 minutes before hand, you never know what to do, well, make sure you have a notebook with you, you can jot down more ideas while waiting for the movie to start. You can even do some while the previews are going. Sit in the very back for the best view, up top, no one will kick you in the back or put their feet up near your face.

6) Lunch break at work- Okay, it is time to get away from the office or not. Take advantage eat and write. That way you don't miss out on that precious time to do so. You have tons of ideas get them out and on paper, or if your boss doesn't mind, on your computer or a flash drive.

7) Bathroom break- Okay yes, go ahead and laugh, but there are times when we are "unavoidably detained" for a long period of time, use it to your advantage, keep paper and pen handy in your bathroom and jot down ideas or do a writing exercise. It is amazing how much writing you can get accomplished behind the locked door of your bathroom.

Think about all the stolen moments you may have just lying around and take advantage, you will be happy you did!

Happy Writing!


Anonymous injaynesworld said...

I need to start carrying around a recorder in my car where some of my best ideas are often conceived. I also talk to myself pretty much non-stop when driving. This used to be embarrassing before the advent of cell phone ear pieces. Now people think I'm just another driver on the phone not paying a damn bit of attention to the road like everyone else.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Flory said...

This is a good list. I already follow some of these. I carry my notebook in a bag that goes with me everywhere. When I'm at the doctor's office or waiting for my car at the dealer, I make sure to get some writing done.

I do a lot of thinking when driving also - I need to learn how to use my phone's voice recorder some time soon.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Good list! It includes some very familiar ideas, but I would not have thought to list writing before the movies start because the light is so dim.

Bathroom breaks work! I'm so glad to see someone else list that. Thanks for sharing this.

Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

5:58 PM  

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