Pepper here, and over the past month, my writing world has gotten a lot busier due to one simple word: Deadlines. Not that I didn’t place deadlines on myself before (and Angie recently had a post about some of the pitfalls in having deadlines if we’re not careful), but with three book contracts under way, the word “deadline” has gotten a lot scarier.
Like many of you, my life doesn’t just revolve around writing. There are lots of other responsibilities that give those deadlines a bigger intimidation-factor than they might have otherwise. Because life is crazy for most of us, writing time his extremely valuable. How do we make it fit in the middle of work, kids, school, laundry, dinner, and all the other things that go along with living? I put up a general schedule of my week – which probably looks a lot like some of your schedules. FULL!!
One way I nick out time is through strategic daydreaming. (I had to post this pic of my daydreaming 12 (almost 13) year old daughter. She was thinking about her fictional crush J
I have driving time in my day between therapy sessions, where I’m going from one school to the next. I also wait in carpool line, fast food lines, grocery lines, etc. So with the time I’m given, I try to squeeze out writing moments. Sometimes I spend those free moments praying, but there are other times when I use it for strategic daydreaming.
What is strategic daydreaming?
It’s planning time to daydream for the purpose of story development.
Here are three ways to have strategic daydreaming:
2. Primed DaydreamingWhen I’ve planned what I want to daydream about, I’ll prime the time with something that inspires me to think of that story. For me, it’s music. I usually have a CD or playlist I’ve made of various music to inspire thoughts of that particular story. Sometimes I’ll bring along a binder with pics of the characters or setting to help. It makes the daydreaming more focused for me.
3. Productive Daydreaming
If I’ve planned and primed well, then my time is usually more productive. I’ll either have the good beginnings of a scene I’ve recorded into A Novel Idea or written down a few notes on character. For example, I had to take my oldest son to the dentist on Friday. I sat in the waiting room for an hour and wrote the first part of a chapter in shorthand – but I’d planned and primed the time by making a binder of characters, history, and setting the night before which helped me ‘get in the mood’ of writing this scene.
By the way, A Novel Idea is a helpful app if you have more than one story going on at the same time. Right now I have four in some form of writing, edits, or brainstorming (although there are a lot more listed on my app as you can see :-)– so being able to save information to that particularly story is helpful.
Sure, daydreaming might not always work out, but it’s been a good time saver for me that easily fit into my packed schedule. It preps me for when I do have a little time to sit down and write – and I desperately needs to me prepared for those moments!
What about you? What are some timesavers you have in place?
Pepper Basham writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate. She writes a variety of genres, but enjoys sprinkling her native culture of Appalachia in them all. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she works with kids with special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn and is debuting her first novel in Spring 2015.