Monday, June 4, 2012

Quickie, anyone? ;) How to keep writing in a busy life

This idea came to me in early spring, and so far it has worked well for making sure my writing projects get face time at least once a week, if not (ideally) daily.

Have you ever been sitting with seven to fifteen minutes to kill before work/yoga/meeting/store opens/bedtime and asked yourself, what could I be doing right now?

I propose to you, that you create a list of answers to this question; an inventory of quick-fixes you need to make in a take-your-pick fashion. I call them Quickies.

Say that you realized at the end of your last big writing chunk (however long ago it was) that there was a conflict in description, or you realized what a better line would have been for your furious character on her warpath, or thought of something else to add/change that begged the resigned after-thought, I'll do it later.

These tiny tasks can add up, and leave a lot of work and edits to be done that feel heavy and are easily procrastinated. But what is important to remember is that they are little things, Quickies, and keeping an inventory of them will give you small ways to feed and water your novel/memoir/epic poem, even when the universe is being a time Nazi.

Depending on your level of organizational needs, you could estimate time needed for each Quickie under columns. For example, you could have a <1 minute, 5ish minutes, and 10+ minutes space to identify each fix or addition you have, so you have more time (when the time comes) to pick one from the appropriate space and go!

The other great thing about a list taped to your cabinet/television/fridge/bathroom mirror, is that not only are you slowly chipping marble from the big masterpiece, but you are preventing your project from collecting dust, from sinking between the metal spirals of the back burner and creating a funny smell inside your life goals that sets off unhappiness smoke alarms. It keeps your characters and messages with you even when time isn't, and that way when you do have a larger chunk of time, your writing endeavors are likely to have more visible frantic hands waving over the top of Netflix/Pinterest/buying more jalapeno pretzels.

They don't have to make sense to anyone but you. Some items on my Quickie list:
Adventure rustling
The binoculars are red!
Lee's bedroom?
Marvin needs a face!

Make use of your time-holes! Make your Quickie lists and tell me all about them!