Wednesday, October 07, 2015

IWSG: Making the Most of Short Writing Sessions

It's time again for another Insecure Writers Support Group post. You can find the sign-up and the linky here.

These days, I seldom have the luxury of a long writing session. (Unless my husband and son go somewhere without me or if I take time off of work.) I typically either write on my lunch hour or after my son goes to bed. Typically, I also have other things to do during this time, and sometimes I let myself get distracted by something I find online. That makes it hard to get into the zone of thinking about your story, let alone make your word count. How do you handle it?

What I've found that works for me is to have an idea of what I want to do in that scene. I've never taken well to outlining an entire book, but I can manage to plan a scene in advance. Sometimes I leave myself notes at the end of a writing session so I remember where to pick up later. Other times I can plan it in my head and retrieve it during the writing session. Sometimes setting myself a word challenge for the session works, but all too often I allow myself to get distracted.

In order to make the most of writing sessions, you have to recognize opportunities when they present themselves. I carry a netbook in my purse, so if I'm waiting somewhere, I can take out my netbook and write. I even write while I'm on the road with my family--as long as my husband is driving, of course!

How do you make the most out of your writing sessions? Please leave your answer in the comments.


Pat Dilloway said...

That's a good idea to squeeze in time when you can. My schedule is pretty open so I don't have to do that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't squeeze in time either. Partially because I don't have to and also because I need a good chunk of time to get something accomplished. But that's the key, as we need to know what works best for us.
And my hats off to those of you with kids, because I don't know how you do it.

Stephsco said...

Great advice. I read the (also short) ebook writing 1k to 10k and it talks about that pre-planning session. Take ten minutes to brainstorm before opening the laptop or typing/writing, and get a plan in place. That's the kind of plotting I can handle!

Here's my October IWSG Post

Shannon Lawrence said...

Taking advantage of any small moment to write is such a great thing to do. I used to this and have gotten away with it, so am working on keeping paper and pencil on hand wherever I go.

Sandra Almazan said...

Must be nice, Pat!

Alex, sometimes I wonder how I do it too.

Stephsco, I read that book too!

Shannon, that's also useful.

Diane Burton said...

I like your idea of leaving notes at the end of a session. I'm going to try that so I don't get caught up in editing as I reread what I'd written the day before.

Best wishes,
IWSG #94

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