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/