Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grab Writing Moments

Are you planning writing moments into your day? Do you have a set time in the morning or late at night that you specifically give to your writing?

Every writer is different. I've met many prolific writers and I find the majority have a word count or specific goal that they want to achieve to keep their writing flowing.

For my own writing life, I've found it is important to have short term and long term writing projects. For example, I've got a new product that I've had in the works for a while and I continue to chip away at getting the writing done on a regular basis. For you, it could be a nonfiction book or a book proposal or a novel or a new Ebook. These lengthy projects are not written in a single session or overnight.

I've also got shorter magazine articles including columns for publications that are on my writing schedule. I encourage you to grab your writing moments.

Last week it was time to take my car into the shop to get the oil changed. I planned to wait for my car in the customer service area. I could have watched some mindless television or read a book or grabbed a few moments to write. I used that time to write.

My writing was not random but focused. I needed to write a 500 to 700 word article. I had written a title and a few outlined points for the article. In my mind, I knew how I was going to put it together and execute my plan—yet I had not taken any time to put my fingers on the keyboard and get it done.

On my way to the shop, I grabbed my AlphaSmart 3000. I take my AlphaSmart when I travel and people often nudge me and ask, “What is that thing?” It's old technology and isn't connected to the Internet or my email. It's simply a tool to crank words into your computer. It runs on two AA batteries and you never lose any words. It can hold up to 100 pages of text. Some of my novelist friends will write entire books on their AlphaSmart. The screen only shows four lines of text but it is a terrific keyboarding device. I take my AlphaSmart when I travel and use it on airplanes. The person ahead of me can put back their seat and I can still crank out the words. It is basically indestructible and a trustworthy tool.

When I reached the shop, I pulled out my outline and began to pour words into it. In a short amount of time, I completed my rough draft of the article. The AlphaSmart holds eight different files and has a limited spellchecker. I say limited because it does not include words like “website” or “blog” yet it will help you correct many words so I use it.

Just so you know I'm not the last AlphaSmart user on the planet, watch this two-minute video from bestselling author James Scott Bell about Snatching Time (click this link if you can't see the YouTube image).

I purchased my AlphaSmart several years ago on Ebay for something like $30. It was a wise investment and it helps me grab writing moments and make them productive.

What steps are you taking today to grab the writing moments in your life and make them productive?

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