Writing takes a lot of creativity and motivation.There’s so many techniques out there for people looking for inspiration on what they should write. Leigh Medeiros, author of THE 1-MINUTE WRITER, shares her tips on different ways to write.
Spend enough time around writers and you’ll likely hear a common refrain: “I don’t have enough time.” Striking a balance between our creative pursuits and the rest of life’s demands is something every writer I know wrestles with. Each of us has lamented how the passage of time turns fresh ideas stale and half-finished drafts into dust collectors. It seems as though feeling constrained by time is a fact of life. Fortunately, there are ways we can make the best of this earthly predicament. Behold five tips for getting some writing done even – and especially – when there’s no time to get any writing done.
#1. Turn Spare Moments into Stolen Moments
If you took the mundanity of life and turned it into a gripping thriller, time would surely be the perfect villain. It’s always stealing precious things from us. But what if we could turn around and steal from time? Stay attuned for the tiny stretches of uninterrupted time that naturally occur throughout the day, like the 5 minutes between finishing lunch and having to get back to work, or the ten minutes of Facebook scrolling while drinking a cup of coffee. When you find yourself confronted with one of these unremarkable stretches of time, make like a thief and steal it. Grab a piece a scrap paper, open a document, or pull out your journal and get cracking. You’ll find that even just a few minutes of writing is a lot more satisfying than the alternative.
#2. Bookend Your Day
Starting or ending your day with a little creative expression can be a fruitful ritual. For as long as we’re alive we all wake up and go to sleep at least once every day. There’s natural rhythm here that provides an easy way to create a simple writing habit. Just keep your journal, laptop, or smartphone next to your bed for easy access then use them to write for a few minutes before you get out of bed or when you just climb into it. Done regularly this practice will stop being a sleepy, half-hearted endeavor and instead be one that happily eases you in and out of Dreamland.
#3. Aim Lower
Ambition can be fuel or Kryptonite to creativity, depending. While lofty goals keep us inspired, they can also derail progress by appearing insurmountable in the face of limited time. In that case, try aiming lower. Break goals down into smaller parts. Break that would-be novel into chapters, chapters into paragraphs, paragraphs into sentences and tackle the writing word by word. While you’re at it, aim lower about how long you write, too. Sure, you’d like to type away for an entire afternoon, but if that goal continues to evade you consider aiming for 30 minutes or an hour instead. Don’t let big dreams become big obstacles.
#4. Be Prepared
To use a cliché, life doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes meetings get cancelled, dates go awry, or grandparents show up unannounced to spend time with the kids. Those kinds of curveballs provide the perfect opportunity to switch gears and get the creative writing on. Of course, that’s only possible with. preparation. This means keeping writing tools nearby at all times. It’s easy to do this at home, but you’ll need to think ahead for the rest of the time. For that, put together a mobile writing kit. It can be as simple as a pint-sized pencil and tiny spiral notebook kept in your pocket or a journal tucked into the messenger bag. Now, when best laid plans go sideways, we have something else to look forward to.
#5. Eliminate the Blank Page Stage
The blank page holds infinite possibility, and it can also be pretty terrifying. Sometimes we just don’t have the time to stare into the void. That’s where writing prompts come in. They’re the perfect way to kickstart the imagination. Allow them to spark a story, or a memory, or to ponder something in a new way. Using prompts isn’t cheating, it’s just a simple way to grease on the wheels. Whenever the prospect of the blank page sucks up too much writing time, look up some timed writing prompts and follow where they lead.
Find more writing techniques in THE 1-MINUTE WRITER by Leigh Medeiros!
For more on Tips on Life & Love: Motivate Yourself: Productivity Starts at Your Desk
Photo by Fotografierende on Unsplash.