Ask An Author: “How do you juggle writing and editing with day-to-day activities?”
Outside of Camp, how do you write and edit along with the rest of your day-to-day life activities? It’s a balancing act for everyone, but what works for you specifically? — awriterinspired
I’ve been struggling with how to be productive for a long time, and I feel miserable when I don’t get much done. So misery avoidance has led me to figure out what times of days and magic spells are necessary for each activity. It’s all about knowing your circadian rhythms and gaming your biology. I know I work creatively best in the morning before I eat lunch. I know dark chocolate will help me focus after 9 pm.
I have a day job and two kids. You might think this would mean I can’t get any noveling done, but it’s just forced me to be disciplined. I try to be really clear about what I’m trying to do with my time. I think ahead to my next block of time and set my intention: Tonight I’m going to work on this scene or revise this chapter. I find it’s hardest when I sit down and feel like there’s a bunch of different stuff I could do but I haven’t made a clear decision. That’s when I look up and realize I just spent the last hour reading through a hundred online comments about LeBron James’s decision to go back to Cleveland.
To get stuff done you want to figure out three things:
When you’re best at each activity: Drafting brand new scenes, editing, and social networking all take different parts of your brain and are all sensitive to time of day, food you eat, music you listen to, exposure to media, your emotional state, etc.
How much time you need: If I’ve got half an hour or less, I’ll try to spend that on business, networking, and social media. If I’ve got an hour or more I’ll try to write or edit (depending on what’s highest priority). Thinking in time blocks also helps you know when to step away and go do other parts of your life.
How to convince yourself you can get it done in the time you have: This is the hardest one. I have plenty of weekend days that go like this: Wake up at 6:30, realize son needs to leave for a soccer game at 8. But I wanted to get some writing done. Despair. It doesn’t have to be that way! If you look at the above schedule you see that really I have about 45 minutes to an hour of morning writing time. If I just go into it with the right attitude, I can get something done. Prove to yourself that you can do it, and this will get easier.
Next week, we have our final Camp Counselor, Kat Zhang, author of the Hybrid Chronicles, a young adult series. Ask her your questions here!
THE FINAL FRONTIER
THESE ARE THE VOYAGES OF THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE
ITS FIVE YEAR MISSION
TO EXPLORE STRANGE NEW WORLDS
TO SEEK OUT NEW LIFE AND NEW CIVILIZATIONS
TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE
[AGGRESSIVELY HUMS THEME TUNE]
reasons why winter is better than summer:
- little to no insects (◕‿◕✿)
- sweaters all the time (◠△◠✿)
- the air is nice and fresh smelling (◡‿◡✿)
- sometimes it snows and you get out of school \(◕‿◕✿)/
- snow is pretty (´･ω･`)
- no pollen (▰˘◡˘▰)
- it gets darker faster so theres more nighttime and more time to look at the stars (ᅌᴗᅌ* )
- everything is dead just the way i like it (⊙‿⊙✿)
how big of a problem is butt dialing in starfleet given how often commanding offers sit their asses right on top of consoles though
butt photon torpedoing
It’s the future, they’ve fixed that problem by now.
There you go!
could this be applied to combadge calls too? Because you know there are multiple people with the same last name on the ship and the brainwave scanning could interpret who you’re meaning to call?
There’s a sad transition period where Ensign Butt-Hands has to use some analog technology.
I am really happy to see that this turned into a discussion, and one that brought the combadges in, even~
i’m procrastinating because i’m stressed and i’m stressed because i’m procrastinating
I never seen a such an accurate gif
What countries have most influenced the way you speak? Take this test designed by MIT researchers and find out.
Take this test, guys! It determines what dialect you speak (if your native language is English) and which country you are from (if English isn’t your first language!).
It is an algorithm which maps out the differences in English grammar around the world.
Extremely cool, and a correct guess on my dialect.
Ron helping Harry calm down after a panic attack because he thought his scar hurt when it was just a normal headache
Ron learning how to use the telephone properly so Harry could call him if he woke up in the middle of the night before of a nightmare
Ron quickly making a joke and changing the topic when a conversation became obviously uncomfortable for Harry.
Ron telling the reporters to piss off when they tried to crowd around Harry.
Ron actually being the best friend Harry could ever have asked for.
sext: i want to pay bills and share household duties and approach our late 20’s in a financially and emotionally stable way with you
We have a pool on our balcony because we are actual five year olds. (It’s for the dogs.)
Creative Ways to Come up With Ideas
I’m often asked how to come up with ideas, so I thought I’d give you a few ways to hopefully jump-start ideas on your end. Putting yourself in certain situations can get you in a more creative mindset, so be aware of your surroundings and what’s happening around you whenever possible.
Here are a few ways to come up with creative ideas on daily basis:
Listen to the people around you
There’s no better way to generate ideas than to listen to the people around you. People say some interesting things if you stay open to it. Ideas are guaranteed to formulate if you listen to what’s happening around you.
Tune into talk radio
Talk radio will help give you some ideas regarding how people communicate with each other and how people argue about things. Think about how people would talk about things in your world and what forums would be available for discussions.
Watch your favorite movie
Try to focus on why your favorite movie is your favorite. What gets you excited about it? Once you figure out those things, you should be able to realize what you want your book to be like. Harness what motivates you.
Write a scene between two characters
Consider writing a scene between two characters you like. Use your own characters or your favorite fictional characters. Put them in a situation they wouldn’t normally be in.
Take a walk
Allowing yourself some fresh air sometimes helps you get creative. If you’re stuck in one place all day, try to get out for a little while. Changing your environment can help generate ideas.
Use Google Maps
If locations tend to inspire you, use Google Maps to zoom in on places you’re interested in. Being able to see a place you intend to write about can make a huge difference. It will also help you see things in a different way.
Search for new music
Music often helps inspire writers, so take some time to download something new. Turn on Pandora or Spotify and keep your ears open for something that inspires you.
List your favorite characters
Pinpointing exactly what makes a character interesting to you can help you build your own characters. Take some time to list a few of your favorite characters and see what they have in common. Use these ideas to structure a character of your own.