Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I'm Better When I Have a Plan

Sometimes, the most important part of being a writer is being prepared. Today, for example, I had a doctor's appointment. Based on past experience, I expected to be in the waiting room for a while, so I arrived prepared. I had my laptop, my notebook and an article I was using as a reference for an piece I was writing.

Good thing.

As I type this, I've been in the waiting room for over an hour. I took a blog post from notes to completion, using my phone as a hot spot so I could do the necessary research (the on-site wireless access wasn't doing the trick). And now I've begun this blog.

When I first started writing seriously, I devoted a block of time every Friday morning to my craft. For a long time, I thought that was the only way I could write, but, over time, I learned that if I was serious about writing, I had to adapt. When I first retired, I had entire days at my disposal, and when I don't have a full teaching load, my morning sprints work wonderfully. But these days, when teaching requires a chunk of time every day, I'm back to doing what I did when I worked full time -- writing in life's nooks and crannies and waiting rooms.

Admittedly, certain kinds of writing lend themselves better to small snippets of time than others. Blogs, articles, promos and already-sketched-out pieces and chapters are easier to pound out in sections than a blank page waiting to be filled or next scene waiting to be determined.

But writing is like exercise, albeit without the cardio benefits. The more we write -- no matter what it is we're writing -- the better we get at it, and the easier it is to do, even under less-than-ideal conditions.

So, as my characters wait patiently for me to return to them, I'm checking other projects off my list so that when I get a chunk of time at my disposal, I'm not distracted by deadlines and shorter works, but can, instead, figure out that next scene and put it on the page.

That's the plan, anyway. And having a plan is half the battle.

No comments:

Post a Comment