Where do you do your best writing? Is it with a notepad at your local coffee shop? Perhaps you bring your laptop to the library and stare at the blinking cursor in frustration. I find that the best way to work on writing, at least my fiction writing, is in the car. As a mother of three, I’m constantly driving here and there. Most of my time is spent waiting. I can spend three hours a day, just going around my small town, in the same five-mile circuit. That is valuable time where I can work out plot lines, problems with secondary characters, eliminate or create entire scenes. As a writer, you can use “down time” in your car in the same fashion.
The first main KEY is to turn the radio off! That’s right, it’s almost like meditation, in a way. The silence can be deafening at first, but once you let your mind wander, it will start going to that world you’ve created in the form of a novel. Personally, I have a post-it pad that pops out of the holder like a tissue box. I just pull one off, and another one pops up. At a stop light, I can jot down a few words to remind me of my stream of thought. Some people even get a small, inexpensive, voice recorder, or use their cell phones, to record a few thoughts. (Of course, this may not be possible any more with hand-held devise laws.) But still, you can work things out in your mind while driving in silence.
Before beginning each novel I write, I have to really formulate a main storyline in my head. I let it percolate before I even write a short, basic, outline. I spend hours writing in my head before I put pen to paper, or touch a single key on my keyboard.
So if you’re trying to find 15 minutes a day to write, let alone several hours, don’t wait until you can get everyone in the house settled down, and actually go to a quiet place to sit at a computer. Use the time you spend running errands, road-tripping, or wherever your car takes you, to get that novel going. You may not realize it, but even if you work a typical 9-to-5 job each day, commuting – especially in rush hour – is a GREAT way to get in that much needed writing time.
Do yourself a favor, and turn off that radio! Get lost in your own thoughts. By doing that you’ll add hours to your writing time each week, and be done with your story-telling much quicker.
If you’ve ever heard of Na-No-Wri-Mo, you’ll know that it’s a “Write a Novel in 30 Days” challenge that many authors do each November. Using the “writing in the car” technique may be just the idea you need to finally succeed!
Good luck and happy writing!
© Tina P. Schwartz, 2014