We’ve talked about using time spent in waiting rooms and during children’s practices before. Let’s talk about less obvious hidden time. These are the moments you can steal for your writing without stealing from other obligations.
Last week we mentioned using your commute, and it bears repeating. If you are not able to eliminate or reduce your commute, use the time the best you can, either by writing on the bus or train, or using a digital recorder while you drive (safety first, of course!).
- If you are big into sports, keep a notebook handy for half-time and replays.
- If you help your children with their homework, bring your writing to the table and work on it in between questions.
- Use the time waiting for meetings or classes to start to jot bits of dialogue or mind map the next scene or two.
- Set up your laptop on the kitchen counter and poke away at editing or writing while you stir the pot (DO NOT do this while frying bacon. Bad for the laptop!).
- Delegate setting the table and chopping vegetables to other family members to squeeze in an extra fifteen minutes.
- Get up at the same time every day, including weekends. Let the rest of the family sleep in while you write.
- Take a notebook to bed and write until you fall asleep (use aerosol hairspray to get ink out of the sheets).
- Write on your lunch break.
- Prevail upon your household to help clean up after dinner and organize their belongings for the next day. Use the time you would have spent doing these tasks yourself to write.
- If you are a passenger on a drive lasting at least fifteen minutes long, write.
- Stay after work for thirty minutes to write (bonus: there may be less traffic on the road when you leave), or get to work thirty minutes early.
- Use a digital recorder to speak your material while doing household chores.
- Keep something handy for writing any time you are waiting.
Finding hidden time to write is as much a matter of perspective as it is a matter of practice. The more you open your eyes to the possibilities, the more snippets of time you can find.