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5 Busy-time Ideas For The Active Writer
by Kathryn Lay

We live in a busy and often hectic world. We’re raising families, working jobs, spending time with friends, involved in hobbies or volunteer work or sports, going to college, dating, running children to soccer games and activities.

How do you find time for writing when it’s not your full-time career? Is it possible when you have so little free time? Yes. It’s possible and very probable of you use what time you have to your best advantage.

WAITING IT OUT

How much time do you spend waiting for appointments? The dentist, the doctor, the hair salon, etc. Whether you’re waiting 15 minutes or an hour, there is time that can be spent with your writing processes.

While waiting for such appointments I’ve studied magazines for ideas, read market information, began articles, outlined stories or articles, planned out book scenes, even completed pieces that were ready to rewrite, print, and mail out when I returned home.

TRAFFIC JAM BRAINSTORMING

Do you have a long commute? Perhaps you find yourself wading through an occasional traffic jam during morning or afternoon rush hour, sometimes stuck at a standstill because of construction or a wreck. Turn a frustrating situation into productive time. With a small digital recorder, you can record ideas, tidbits of writing, dictate a query letter, and more.

Fifteen minutes of time lost in traffic can be enough to prepare a query. A week of such moments could give you time to produce 5 queries. At 25 a month, you’re well on your way to finding saleable ideas that will bring requests to see your article. And, you will hone your query writing skills.

CARPOOLING YOUR WRITING

Are you a Mom who arrives thirty minutes before school is out to wait in line to pick up your children? You’ve got more quiet, uninterrupted writing time. No phones or television to distract you. Read a writer’s magazine and make a list of market ideas. Work on your current Work-in-Progress, whether article, story, or book. Thirty minutes, five days a week can add a lot of pages to your project.

VACATION TIME

Long driving trips are perfect opportunities to write. When someone else is doing the driving, put on your headphones and spend a few minutes writing. This is especially good on the way home from a trip when your mind is swirling with new ideas for stories, articles, or travel pieces.

STORYTIME IS A TIME FOR STORY WRITING

When the kids are home for the summer or Christmas holidays, take advantage of the story times at your local library. Give them a fun outlet for boredom and yourself a chance to find a quiet corner amongst the books to let your own literary talent flow.

When my daughter was a toddler and pre-school age, she loved going to our library’s special time with crafts, exciting guests, and story readings. The children were safely enclosed in a room with adult supervision, while I was able to write for thirty minutes.

During these times I created many articles and stories that sold, researched publishers for my children’s books, got to know the children’s librarian, read through issues of Writer’s Digest and market books, made lists of ideas to write and query.

Being busy isn’t a reason to postpone your writing career, it’s only an excuse. How many boring and wasted minutes do you have in a day? More than you think. How many bylines might you see thanks to those boring and wasted minutes? More than you think.

© Copyright 2006, Kathryn Lay

Kathryn Lay is the author of 26 books for children, over 2000 articles, essays and stories for children and adults and the book from AWOC.COM Publishing, The Organized Writer is a Selling Writer. Check out her website at www.kathrynlay.com and email through rlay15@aol.com

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