Scott D. Parker
Last week, I mentioned that I was starting a new job this week. Well I have and it caused some disruption here at the homestead. Nothing bad, but me and the family have had to adjust to the new normal. The new normal for me is that I have a lot less free time now. Again, not a huge deal--I get to ride my bike to work! And come home for lunch!--but I am in the process of figuring out where and when to write.
Well, the first couple of days, I started writing at 10am. When I start my day at 6am (that's normal) and start my workday at 7am (that's new), starting to write at 10pm posed some challenges. Throw in a old dog who needs help getting outside to pee and you can imagine the weariness is a factor. Okay, so lunch would seem like an obvious time to write but I come home to be with the family during that hour. Family 1, Writing 0. Throw in the family time during and after dinner and you can see why 10pm is, for now, the only good time to write.
Here's the thing about that: I did it before, the 10pm thing, back in 2005/2006 when I wrote my first book. But I've been a morning writer pretty much ever since. Time to do it again. But the thing I've already figured out is that with weariness knocking on the door, it's not time to *start* thinking about what to write, it's only time to write. Thus, I need to know, going in to a writing session, what I'm gonna write.
Thus, outlining, or, in my case, scene creation. Even if I don't know all the scenes, I tend to keep just a few scenes ahead of my present location. Often times, throughout the day, I have a spark of an idea for an upcoming scene. How to capture that now that I'm in an office nine hours a day? That's where my iPod Touch comes in. I have started keeping my notes in Google Drive and when I'm on a break, I just open up the file, type in the note, and then get to it later that night. Granted, it's not perfect, but, so far, it's worked for five days. We'll see how it goes. Another thing I started doing is copying my current chapter from Scrivener into another Google file so, if I have a five-minute break and I want to work on an actual chapter, I can just start writing and copy back into Scrivener when I get home.
For you writers with a full-time job that isn't writing, how do you work in your fiction writing time? What tools do you use?
Before I began writing and publishing full time I cut out all unnecessary entertainment (TV, films, etc) and social gatherings (Aunt Edna's get-togethers) that didn't further my goals. It made a significant difference.
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