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Top Five Times to Squeeze in Writing

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “I’d love to write a book, but I just don’t have the time,” I wouldn’t even need my day job anymore.

The fact of the matter is, no adult person with a full-time job (or kiddos, which is ALSO a full-time job, no matter what capitalism tells us) actually just has the time to write a book. We have to carve it out. I’ve talked about that before, but I thought I’d write a quick post to share my top five little snippets of time I use for writing.

This list isn’t going to contain things like “the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping” or “take a vacation day from work!” This list isn’t for giant swaths of time like that. This is for SUPER BUSY people who maybe aren’t ready to commit to making big sacrifices for writing yet. Or writers who are already making those sacrifices of sleep and time with loved ones, but maybe just want to squeeze in JUST a few more hundred words.

WAITING ROOMS

There’s a reason this is number one on my list - this is SUCH A SOURCE OF DEAD TIME normally. You get to the dentist fifteen minutes early… and they’re running fifteen minutes behind. Next thing you know, you’ve been scrolling through Twitter or playing Candy Crush for half an hour. You know what else you could do in half an hour? Scribble a few dozen (or maybe hundred!) words down on a notepad.

LUNCH BREAK

Okay, so this one involves a little bit of sacrifice. I’m not a super social human, so I never really tended to eat lunch with coworkers anyways, preferring to enjoy some alone time while I eat. Why not tap tap tap out a few words while munching on those leftovers? This honestly makes up the bulk of the writing I get done during the work week most weeks.

COMMUTE

Okay, so if you live in a big city or use public transit, this one’s a no-brainer. If you’re like me and you live in the ‘burbs and drive everywhere, this one’s a little less obvious. There’s a few ways to work on writing while driving, though! The first is using voice-to-text or a voice recorder. This isn’t great for drafting (for me, at least), but for brainstorming and worldbuilding? Oh, hell yeah. Additionally, you can use your daily drive to listen to audio books! YES reading time counts as writing time. You need to fill your brain with other writers’ stories if you want to keep working on your own!

RIGHT BEFORE BED

What do most of us do right before we fall asleep? Scroll through our phones ad-nauseum. Okay, well what if instead of that, you jotted down a few words in your Notes app? Or pulled out a notebook and hand-wrote some things down? I’m not talking about going on a HUGE WRITING SPREE INTO THE WEE HOURS OF THE NIGHT. Just like, a few dozen words jotted down as you get into sleep mode.

WAITING ON OTHER PEOPLE

This is like, the LIGHTNING ROUND of writing, admittedly. But just think, throughout the course of a year, how much time you spend waiting on people. You log into a Zoom happy hour a few minutes early. You’re meeting a friend for coffee and they’re a couple minutes late. You’re out at drinks with a buddy and they run to the bathroom for a minute or two. The Notes app on your phone is your best friend here - just hop in and tap out a few words or ideas every time you’re in one of these situations and BAM, you’ve got a treasure trove of ideas and starting points for your next real writing session.

And there you have it! My personal top five random slices of time you can use for writing or writing-related tasks! What little pieces of time do you use for writing? Chat it out with me in the comments, or on twitter @mj_kuhn!

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