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How to Write When You Can't Find the Time
For many of us, writing every day is a lofty goal, but actually doing it is easier said than done. Here's how I make time to write when time is scarce.
I don't know about you, but my day is pretty packed from the moment I wake until the moment I return to bed.
being a mom
self-care and wellness
client manuscript work
research and professional development
The list goes on and on, and it doesn't even include finding time to talk to other adults in my life. Like my partner, for example.
Sometimes, there's just no time to sit down with my notebook or laptop and put words on the page.
Now, I'm used to finding creative ways to make time when time is otherwise scarce. I'm no stranger to taking a client call in the car or on a walk. And I often leverage my daughter's bath time for craft books (Mom's homeschool, I tell her), pacing the hallway and reading aloud while she scrubs. And this works well for my family.
This year, I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo, and this month in particular, time is especially scarce. Isn't it always the case that when we need something the most, it is most elusive? I'll avoid waxing philosophical on this point . . .
When I can't find the time to write, I pace the hallway but, instead of a craft book, I grab my voice recorder and talk myself through story development and work out issues that may otherwise hamper my progress when I finally do get that coveted time to sit with my laptop.
And often, such talking and pacing has a disclaimer to my daughter that, "Mom is telling a story, and these aren't real people, just play-pretend."
Like most of us, I speak much faster than I write or type. Fifteen minutes of talking usually allows me to work out a couple of scenes, and when I later go back and transcribe the recording into my manuscript draft, I end up with roughly 3,000 words of shitty first draft material.
And shitty first draft material is what I need to begin molding the lumpy story into something smooth and worth reading.
So, if you're a parent or a caregiver like me, and you find it nigh impossible some days to find time to write, fret not.
Grab your voice recorder—the one on my cell phone works well for me—and find your proverbial hallway to pace.
Note: There are also some great tools that will handle the transcription for you. Voice Dream and Otter AI, even voice to text, are examples. I prefer transcription by hand because it allows me to move things around and organize as I work.
In Case You Missed It & Other News
Some blog articles are being spruced up with audio!
I've joined the MetaStellar Magazine team as a volunteer editor and columnist! You can find my columns here: https://www.metastellar.com/author/fallon-clark/.
I've added a couple of easy-to-book appointment options too. While it did require some fancy (to me) footwork to get Protonmail and Google to talk to each other, you can now book a Coffee Chat or a Coaching Call from my contact page.
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Happy writing and editing!