Learning the Art of Writing Without Writing

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Hello November and good riddance October. I can’t tell you how happy I am that a new month has begun. Last month was ruined by my illness but I am finally feeling better and I’m ready to get back to working on my novel. A lot of my time was spent beta reading my boyfriend’s novel, trying to heal myself and doing my Advanced Fiction Writing class and handling family matters and other issues. I have finished beta reading and the class is still ongoing but ends near the end of this month. I am learning a great deal from this course and have been using it to help improve my work in progress. But time spent on writing the book has been lacking. So how do you find time to write when you are too busy or feeling unmotivated?

I know I have written about this topic before but it’s a problem that has now come up again. It seems like every time I think I have a chance to work on the book, something happens, or someone interrupts me. This book has to have a lot of changes made and I need time to tackle all of it. But it’s hard. I don’t feel right when I go a long time without writing. But one thing that I am doing has helped a little. Planning…

On the days when I am unable to write, I make sure that I take extensive notes of new ideas that I have for the story. I am also using what I have learned in class to learn how to better plot this novel so that it is in perfect structure and flows freely. I have also begun rewriting the outline to reflect those new ideas. Most of what was written in 2008 is being deleted and reworked because my mindset is completely different now than it was when I originally wrote this book. I will also do more work on character development. Planning the story is just as important as writing it because if you don’t know what you’re going to write about, the job of writing a book can become a real headache. At least that’s how it is if you’re a true Plotter.

Another way to deal with not having time to write is to observe the people around you. Oftentimes you can get great ideas for characters just by observing the people you know on a day to day basis. Whether it is members of your family or people you work with. Who better to write about than people you already know? But change the names of course and take lots of notes on the way they speak, walk, use catchphrases or the way they dress.

Research places that you may want to use in your story. Places you’ve never been. There’s plenty of websites, books, documentaries, and travel shows that can give you great insight into a city’s best features like beaches, resorts, stores, and restaurants. Schools and landmarks that can really bring realism to your story’s settings. Once again take lots and lots of notes, or clip webpage info into Evernote so that you can keep all of your information well organized for easier access.

These are just some of the ways you can write without writing your work in progress and works well for those of you who have frequent bouts with writer’s block. I hope some of my ideas can help you because they help me a lot. There’s nothing like the feeling of neglecting your work in progress without meaning to.

Until next time…

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