Never get a check up from your doctor, because if you do they will send you for a million tests, and all your free time that you used to have to write will be taken up waiting in sterile offices that do not spark the creative imagination at all. This I know from experience. In fact, I am in the middle of it. Add to that another round of physical therapy! Three times a week. The insult to my writing schedule is way out of line.
But really, go to the doctor once a year and hope she says “Everything’s perfect.” Nothing’s really wrong with me, even my back feels better, it’s just, these docs like to cover their hindquarters. So my writing schedule has thinned to almost no time at all.
What to do when there’s no time to write? Find it, because writing will save your sanity. Even a little time, like 30 minutes. Even 15 minutes. And expand your definition of writing. Right now I’ve got a new story brewing. So I’m doing quick character-building type writing. Most of it won’t go into the book, but it’s stuff I need to know before I can write the story.
The other day, for example, I figured out my female main character’s name and why she ends up staying in the town where she went to take a week’s vacation. I wrote that out and filed it with all the other notes I’m taking toward this new novel.
And then yesterday I woke up really early and I wanted to map out my town. John has inspired me lately to draw. So I got out my pencil, crayons, drawing paper, and brush markers and drew my setting, which I have used for three books so I know it so well, but I’ve never made a picture of it. It took a really long time to color in every flower and tree. But that was okay, because I didn’t have to be to work until 9:30. And I just loved doing it.
Today I woke up really late and I have an appointment at 10, and I didn’t have a lot of time (really I should not be writing THIS but I have to get my word fix somehow) so I did a pencil sketch of the rest of the downtown. Main Street. I needed a river in this story and I couldn’t think of a good name and while I was sketching I thought of the perfect name. I put my male main character’s house right there by the river.
I’m just saying you can actually get a lot done even if you feel like you don’t have any time. (You would not have to actually use color in your sketch, like I did in the first sketch. My pencil sketch today took ten minutes. And I did a whole downtown, both sides of the street!)
*I titled this post Aries Moon because I’m an Aries and this is my moon and I want to bask in it.