Too busy to write?

Okay, I’ve had a very busy week.  Lots going on, more than normal.  How does one find time to work on their writing when they don’t have time to write?  Writing is, well, actually more than just writing.  Somehow writers find time to write, or at least work on their writing when they don’t have time to write.

I steal time over breakfast proofreading or editing a MS, marking it up to revise later.  I’m not green when it comes to revising.  I have to print it out.  I know, I know it’s awful, and waists paper, but before you shun me, I do use both sides.  After marking it up on one side and revising on the computer, I draw Xs across the pages and print the revised version on the other side.  Maybe I could be considered half green.

Proofing at breakfast, in the car, waiting for someone or anytime you can steal a few minutes is, well, part of writing.  It has to be done.

Even watching a movie or show on TV can be used for searching market books to find where to send my next submission.

And don’t forget to keep an old copy of Writers Digest or two in the car.  Just in case.  Sometimes it is nice to re-read some of the articles.

On your busy days, how do you find time to write, or at least pursue your writing?

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9 thoughts on “Too busy to write?

  1. Sounds like we have some of the same habits, Rick. I always keep copies of Writers Digest and Poets & Writers in my car. Then when I’m running my mother around to her doctor appointments, I’ll always have reading material for the waiting room. I also proofread over breakfast, but I don’t print out hard copies, I sit at my desk in front of the computer. And I flip through market guides in the living room while watching T.V. at night so I can be with my family in the evening. If I stayed at my desk, I’d feel too disconnected from them. On the days where there is no hope of having any writing time at all, I find myself writing and even revising in my head.

  2. One of the advantages of the New York City lifestyle is communiting by subway. When I’m commuting, I don’t have to pay attention to traffic! So I try to write every time I travel on the subway (unless I have grading to do).

  3. It’s frightening, isn’t it, how similar writers are? I write whenever I find time, even if its on a post-it while I’m attending a patient’s visual field test. I generally carry a notebook in my purse, but I never thought about keeping a market guide in the car. Cool!

  4. Inluvwithwords and Katie C, After I posted this, I wondered how many would call me out on watching TV when I should be putting words on paper. I don’t feel so bad now. Aren’t you all glad our spouses and family support us?

    Anne E. Johnson, I don’t have to commute, but my wife usually does the driving. I know she is feeling ignored when she says, “look at those trees, oh, you’re missing it.” I then close my book and we find things to talk about.

    Katrina, I guess we all share our time stealing habits. I keep a notebook in my pocket when I do chainsaw carvings. I get some strange looks sometimes when people are watching me and I just stop the saw and start writing in my small notebook.

    Thank you all for sharing.

  5. I don’t know of any writer who doesn’t have this ‘ailment!’ I try to lessen the self-inflicted guilt by doing freewriting. (Hey, that’s also writing. In a way. I’m still expressing thoughts & ideas down in words.) If my usual 3 pages don’t work that particular day, I’ll still try to aim for 2, or the very least 1. Then I’ll make up the next day and make sure I write something with more editorial/story substance.

    • Yeah, I feel that any writing is writing. Even if I only write a few lines in my little notebook. At some point I try to sit down and put the ideas and notes into manuscripts.

  6. I know I’m very fortunate. My husband is supporting the family while I raise our daughter and pursue my writing career. I do have a lot of time to write, but I still find I’d like more. I steal time from breakfast and lunch. I’m a fast eater, so it’s easy to do this and still be at the table with my family. Oh, and don’t feel bad about revising in print. I do it, too. Recycle!

    • Like you, I’m lucky to have a spouse that believes in what I am doing. Even thought I’m just getting started, she supports me.

      It takes both of us to run our store, but she lets me steal time and I don’t get fired. We live at our store, so it helps to be able to run and write something down when an idea hits and not have to worry about a boss catching me.

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