1) are your books published, like, on Amazon and stuff?
2) how do you find the time to write?
My answers are yes to the first one and then I explain that everyone has the same number of hours in the day and it’s about making time for what’s important.
If you want to write a book and you’re waiting for the right time to write it – for an expanse of time when you can close your eyes slowly and wait for the muse to join you so you can write – then, believe me, you’ll be waiting a long time.
Plus, if you’re waiting until you’re in the perfect room, with the perfect light, and the perfect sounds around you so you can write, again, you’re pretty much screwed if you work full time, or have any other life responsibilities (caring etc).
I know it takes a while to boot up a laptop and open up the document so you can write, and by then someone’s shouting for you, or you’ve got to get back to life. However, a paper notebook and pencil / pen can be opened and allow you to write instantly. Try writing in the little bits of dead time:
- waiting for a bath to run
- while something is cooking in the oven
- while on hold on the phone
- get up 15 mins before you need to
- while waiting to collect kids from school
- while on public transport
- write for 15mins in bed rather than reading
- Whenever you are tempted to look at your smart phone to check social media or news websites, instead, turn to your notebook and pencil and write for a few minutes
Another tip is to allow this first draft to come out as it comes out. Don’t agonise over each and every word. That’s for the editing stage. Just let it flow out of you and tell the story. Most importantly, get to the end of the story. Leave it and you can fix things in the edits. You can’t edit a blank page.
If you’re waiting for the perfect environment to write you can create this for you, wherever you are:
- Listen to certain music
- Wear a certain item of clothing
- Be accompanied by a certain drink of choice
- Read an inspirational writing quote to get you ‘in the zone’
With all this technology crying at us for attention pinging away and beeping, it’s easy to forget that writing is about creating words and putting them down on paper or electronically. Try a few different ways that help you focus on simply that, and you’ll be surprised how much you write when you’d have been wasting the time otherwise.
I wouldn’t use a notebook and pencil on a flight now – despite it being one of the best bits of writing advice I’ve read – I’d now use my Alphasmart Neo. Check these out for more on why I bought it and living with it. This weighs 900g (less than 2lbs) only writes, doesn’t connect to the internet and has a battery that lasts more than 700hours.
I’ve some other writer friends who’ve bought one based on my experiences and they’ve told me it has allowed them to write in places a laptop wouldn’t have. Just like a paper notebook the Neo is ready to write instantly. Just like a notebook it has no distractions like the internet or games. Just like a notebook it can only be used for writing. Just like a notebook it is light and portable. Better than a notebook it will type up your words for you after you’re done! In short, for an author who needs to write when out and about, it’s pretty much unbeatable in my opinion.
It’s not for everyone – I lent my spare one (yes, really I have a spare, because they’re not making them any more) to an author friend and she didn’t get on with it. We think this was because everywhere she writes she can and does prefer to use her laptop, in which case the Neo wouldn’t add much.
If you enjoyed this blog, then consider 'donating' by buying one of my books.
They're also on my Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk home pages.
Love and light,
Liam Livings xx