Time is the ultimate currency.
Time is so powerful because it is so limited. Some might say that energy, not time, is money, but time is the funnel through which our energy flows. Without time, energy becomes limitless and therefore cheap.
And the question every writer eventually faces sounds something like this. “Oh my word, there are just so many things I need to do. How can I possibly squeeze my writing into all that? I can’t possibly do them all.”
If you have a child and you’re a writer, you know what I mean. If you work one or more jobs and write on the side, you know what I mean. If you go to school and come home with loads of homework but you still want to write, you know what I mean.
Your time gets eaten up and suddenly you find you’ve only got thirty minutes to write your blog post and it normally takes you an hour. What’s a writer to do?
Sometimes you just have to write faster. But how in the world do we write faster?
Let It Stew – Just because you can’t actually be writing doesn’t mean you can’t be thinking about your writing. We all have those moments where we can zone out and go on autopilot, like while driving or washing the dishes. But don’t zone out! Instead, harness that time and use it to be creative! Think about the structure, tone, and movement of your writing, and even write a paragraph or two in your head! These moments are golden, so use them!
Carry a Notebook – It’s almost cliche, but it works. Not only do we have moments where we can zone out, but we all have little pockets of time where we aren’t doing anything and our hands are free. While you’re standing in line at Kroger, jot down the outline of your current scene. Work on that line for your poem that’s just been giving you the fits.
You’ll be surprised how much you can get done without actually having to block off two or three hours just for writing. I carry around a small, orange pad that slips easily into my pocket so I can quickly sketch down any ideas that whack me over the head.
Now, instead of organizing your thoughts at the computer and using up valuable writing time, you simply let all those thoughts and sketches flow down through your fingertips onto the page. Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, you’ve been inviting it all day long so that you can make the most of every minute.
I’m not saying this will let you write five pages of your novel in one hour. Writing is still a time intensive business. But it will let you write more in the little time that you do have.
We all don’t have hours and hours to spend on nothing but writing like Stephan King, but we can and should make the most of the time that we’ve got.