Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Write Time by Jennifer Fromke


A prolific novelist is in demand for a huge book tour, speaking engagements, etc . . . when will he ever get to return home and just write?

A younger author publishes her third novel. She still cannot afford to hire a PR firm, so she’s busy planning online Facebook parties, setting up a blog tour for her latest book, tracking sales (and small royalties) from her first two books, trying to get the tiny bookshop down the street to order more copies of her book, etc . . .

An aspiring author stays up late at night, trying to capture a muse as her head nods and her mind wanders over to what she plans to wear to work tomorrow. Will she ever finish a manuscript this way?

If every writer struggles with this dilemma, is there an answer?

I have an answer. I’m not sure it’s the answer, but it’s an answer. I plan to write when I can. Genius new idea, I know.

I thought about all the time I have each day. There are some larger blocks of time and then there are all the myriad smaller tasks that somehow add up to fill a day. But I noticed I had small bits of time “in between.” Between dropping one child off and picking up another. Waiting at the Dr. office. Waiting in the carpool line. Waiting for dinner in the oven. These “in between” times range from 5-20 minute segments. Added up, I might find 1-2 hours in tiny time segments. How would your writing improve if you could capture even one extra hour in your day?

I hope you noticed two key words in my big new idea: I plan. This basically mean, I take the laptop along. I keep a craft book/magazine in the car at all times. I take scratch paper with me (yes, sometimes I write ideas down with an actual pen). I know that I probably need at least 15 minutes if I’m going to write brand new words, working on a new chapter in the next novel is an example of this. If it’s less than 15, I can use the time to edit. If it’s less than 10 minutes, I usually pick up my Writer’s Digest Magazine (or some other craft-builder) so even if I’m not writing, I’m working toward becoming a better writer.

I definitely try to make time for a couple hours of uninterrupted work several times/week. But changing my habits and planning for downtime, even in small amounts, has enabled me to capture the space “in between” throughout the day. Try this “time capture” technique for a week and see what you can accomplish!


Jennifer Fromke is a lover of books, mother of three and wife to one extraordinary man. When separated from her laptop, you may find her teaching Bible study, cooking or (most often) sneaking off someplace with a good book in one hand and a vanilla latte in the other.

A BA in Literature from Wheaton College shares a decent part of the blame when it comes to ascertaining how Jennifer turned out this way – addicted to reading, writing and all things literary.

Her first novel, A Familiar Shore (formerly Docking) won the 2010 ACFW Genesis competition in the Women’s Fiction category.


Connect with Jennifer on her website: http://jenniferfromke.com/

8 comments:

  1. As a new writer, I so agree with you Jennifer. No laptop in hand, only a "traditional" computer in my kitchen. I sneak sentences and words "in between" as well - sometimes over browning the pancakes...or listening to a pot overflow -- yikes! -- but it works in the end. I write on receipts and scraps of papers when thoughts come at impromptu times while I am out and about. My chunks of time come when all are simultaneously out or in bed and this is a feat when eight children muck about in my house. Thanks for sharing your "in between" method -- now I can put to rest the idea ("wish" may still be there) that I should take off to a remote cabin and sit for weeks til the writing is done (!) LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like you have your hands full! How inspiring that you still find the time to write. Blessings on your writing journey.

      Delete
    2. Well Sheryl, I still dream about the remote cabin (for me, it's a tiny beach house) where I could escape and write for a whole weekend uninterrupted. I'm putting that in my "someday" category. For now, I'm writing in between. :-) Thanks for taking a moment with us today.

      Delete
  2. I've discovered that if I write for 30 minutes every morning, I do better at squeezing my errands into the rest of the day. Errands seem to expand to fill the time allotted! Sometimes I too read and write in all the little "waiting" times of my days... but I have been trying lately to interact with other women who are also waiting, instead of hiding out and trying to make my 5 minutes productive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mindy, another wise woman once told me to try to write to try to get in just five minutes of writing a day. She said it doesn't sound like much, but once you start writing, you usually keep on. The five minute limit takes the pressure off and lets the creativity flow a little better.

      Delete
    2. Mindy, I struggle with the "hiding out to write" vs socializing balance. When my friends start asking me where I've been, I make a point to chat with the waiting moms for 5 minutes instead. :-) But before I started "capturing" those small amounts of time for writing, I used all my extra time for socializing whether it was on the internet or in person. Balance, balance, balance!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for your thoughts, Jennifer! I recently started taking my laptop when my daughter has piano lessons. The good thing about that...as I wait in the car, I have no internet to distract me!! I also keep a small journal in my console so that I can jot inspirations before they disappear. My only dilemma there is keeping up with the sheets I tear out and take inside with me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I drive my whole family crazy with my little notes I leave everywhere. And once I write it down, I usually remember it, so the notes end up all over the place and I only need to refer back to a few...but nobody knows which ones I still need but me. :-)

      Delete

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!