Writing is Easier When I don’t have Time for It

 

Hey all, I have some updates before we get into the blog post. First, is that I am finally done teaching summer school which means I will have more time to get out posts on our regular weekly schedule rather than once ever two weeks. Number two, is that we are past June 30th which means it is time for our Writers Toolkit giveaway. I am going to do the drawing tomorrow morning and contact the winner. Once everything is confirmed, I’ll release their identity here in a future post.

The only other bit of news is that I will be gone from July 15th until the 29th for military training. Since this is only two weeks, I already have a blog post ready to go and thus shouldn’t be much of a bump in our schedule. I hope everyone is having an awesome day, and thanks for stopping in!

Writing is Easier when I don’t have Time for It

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In the last couple of days, I have found that I have been bursting with different types of writing related productivity. I have revised three short stories, wrote a rough for two others, and have even gotten back to work on the last few scenes of the current novel. Strangely, I feel more motivated to write now that I don’t have as much time to do it.

As most of you know, I am teaching English in Atlanta right now for summer school (cue teacher selfie below) and this fall I will be teaching Jr. High English over in South Carolina. This takes up quite a bit of time between lesson plans, class prep, and generally drinking copious amounts of alcohol to deal with a stressful administration.

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Despite the time constraints, I have been feeling that pressure to write. It has gotten to the point were I will pull out my laptop and type a few paragraphs every time that I have a chance and this little bit of work throughout the day has made me much more productive than I was when I felt I had to do all of my writing in a single two or three hour sitting.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the good, old-fashioned write-athon, but this bit of anecdotal evidence in regards to a little bursts of work throughout the day has made me curious which is actually better. While I might have been able to work on multiple projects, I do see a major drawback to this approach.

Since most of my work is done in ten to fifteen minutes bursts, I have found it hard to really get into a scene if I am writing it as a rough draft. It seems that it takes most of the time for me to get the mental gears oiled and by the time that my writing starts to flow, it gets interrupted. This makes it almost impossible to write anything halfway coherent because by the time I get back to the scene I have lost the path that I was taking.

I do use outlines so that helps structure my overall story. Perhaps, outlining individual scenes can help me with this problem. Regardless, I am still happy with the increase in productivity even though I don’t have much time for anything else.

In fact, my class is starting as I type this and some of my students are walking in. I am afraid I will have to cut it short, but I plan on writing a few longer pieces tonight and scheduling them over the next couple of weeks. I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, and I am looking forward to talking to you in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Writing is Easier When I don’t have Time for It

  1. Yes. I definitely have the most ideas and the more interesting ones at the most inconvenient times. Thank goodness for apps like OneNote so I can keep track of all my ideas until such time as I have the opportunity to work on them. Hopefully, you’ll find the time to flesh out your ideas somewhere amongst the lesson plans.

    Best of luck with the school year! Teachers and nurses have my utmost respect, and I went to grad school for English šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Steve,

    Hope you’re doing well! Great to hear you’re working, glad your creativity is bursting, and sorry to hear about your time constraints!

    My response to this post’s title: YES, ME TOO!!
    I’m the most creative when I literally have no time to write: Exam season.

    Interesting that you brought up the ‘writing in short bursts’ concept. Over the last few weeks (maybe months, what day is it even?), I’ve been a writing train. Most days I spend hours writing, but sometimes I do the ‘short bursts’ technique as well. I can attest to your hypothesis; outlining each scene is indeed the secret.

    I have an overall plot and a good idea of my story structure. But, every day before I write, I use *PEN and PAPER* (See note below) to summarize the ‘current situation’ in the story. Then, I summarize what comes next–i.e. connect ‘current situation’ to next major plot point. This little exercise is almost meditative because I start writing with a daily goal. I go in with a short-term end point in mind. I find this method helps me mould the story, progress the ‘current situation’ toward the next major plot point. It also seems to help me create a more intricate plot, as well as better understand my own story and its themes. Best of all, I can stop writing any time in the day, then return without ‘losing my path.’

    Take care, brother!
    -T

    *Note: Use Pen and Paper to plan/outline because physically writing activates more neural pathways than typing.

    Like

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