A few weeks ago, I sent out a newsletter about struggling with my writing time lately. Work is in crunch time, leaving me mentally exhausted by the end of the day, and I don’t actually get up early enough to write before work. For a while, I thought I could use my iPad to write while I was at home for my lunch break, but then I lost my bluetooth keyboard to actually write with. So, today I want to talk about 5 things you can for your book when you aren’t writing the book.
1. Plan it Out
If you’re an outliner like me, you’re constantly thinking ahead in the book, right? Take some time to plan it out, so when you do go back to writing, you’ll be ready to go. Often times, if I’m out at an appointment (like getting a flat tire fixed), I’ll take the time to work on my Scrivener outline. And it’s even easier with the iOS app now (finally) since I won’t have to lug the laptop around.
2. Make a Production Schedule for the Next 12 Months
I’ve talked about my production schedule before, and I love that it gives me an option to see where I want to go in the next year, but I also love that I can change it as I need to. Take time to create a production schedule. I always use a big wall calendar, some washi tape, and pretty pens to get the job done.
Your production schedule doesn’t need to be overly complex, otherwise that defeats the purpose of the calendar.
3. Character Build
What is your story without some awesome characters? If you’re struggling with a specific character, take some time and give them a story. A backstory, a reason why your character acts the way he or she does. Without believable characters, your story will fall flat, and you don’t want that to happen.
Even if you aren't writing your book, you can still do other things to help prepare it. Click To Tweet
This may seem counter-intuitive, but yes, relaxing when you can’t write will help. Sometimes the one thing blocking us from writing is our own mind! Taking the time to relax gives you the ability to put your brain on rest for a while and let it destress. Once you’re relaxed, you should be able to get back to working on your books.
Thanks to my roommate Amy for this one, but she’s so right. Reading makes us better writers, and if you don’t have time to read, do you really have time to write? I know we all go through stages (I typically can’t read a lot and write a lot at the same time, I alternate), but the truth is, if you want to be a writer, you better be a reader first.
While it would be ideal to be able to write all the time, life has other ideas. You don’t always have the power to pump out great ideas all the time (though I wish that were the case!). I’m a firm believer in maximizing what time I do have, even if I can’t write, and I hope these tricks help you, too!