Carving Out Time

Lots of writing blogs talk about getting into good writing habits, and discuss writing sessions of the kind where you can sit down for a few hours and focus on getting the words out. This is great if you can do it, but if, like me, you don’t have regular writing hours, it gets difficult.

I work long hours, and when I get home, I don’t feel like spending any more time in front of the computer. Since I started my job, I’ve been finding places and times to write that fit in with my new schedule. Here are some of the best places and times I’ve found:

On a coffee break
Ten minutes is better than nothing, and if you really focus, you can at least get a couple of hundred words out in this time. I’ve started using the Forest app to make sure I don’t spend my break on Twitter instead, and it works really well as a motivator – if I go back on my phone, not only do I miss out on writing, but a tiny digital tree dies.

On the train
This is especially good if you can get a seat to yourself, and even better if you can get your own table. You can also people-watch on a train, and freewrite about the passengers you see, which is great as a warm-up.

In a doctor’s waiting room
A bit more awkward and uncomfortable, but you’ll probably be there for a while, so it might turn into a longer writing session anyway. If you have a scene that you need to write, there’s a good chance you’ll get it done while you’re waiting to be called for your appointment.

In bed
Okay, this part is probably terrible advice, but as long as you don’t do it every night, you probably won’t mess up your sleep too much. I normally read in bed, or listen to podcasts, but sometimes it’s a good place to get a few sentences written – especially as all the good ideas seem to happen when you’re falling asleep.

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About Alice Nuttall

Alice Nuttall is a caffeine-guzzling knitter who divides her time between Oxford and the various worlds in her head. She is the author of a YA fantasy novel, Spider Circus, and three webcomics, Footloose, Cherry, and Black Market Magic, as well as several short stories.
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