In an ideal world, anyone writing a book would have uninterrupted time, a beautiful space to write, and flowing ideas to make the most of your time. But you and I don’t live in an ideal world, do we? You might not have a dedicated writing space, but I can help with the other two. Uninterrupted time and flowing ideas are luxuries. Let’s briefly address the latter first: If you have an outline for your book, you don’t have to worry about inspiration striking. You already know what you’re going to write. If you brain-dumped your book idea, then you have that outline to work from. Uninterrupted writing time is a bit harder to come by for some of us. It’s tricky, because a writing routine can be important, but sometimes it’s just not feasible and we need accept that, if we want to write a book during this season of life, writing it in smaller pockets of time is both necessary and totally okay. My suggested compromise would be to try to find SOME times when that routine exists while being open to those times when it isn’t — and understanding how to maximize the latter.
“Just write it. Write it on receipts in the car while you wait for your kid to finish their piano lessons, scribble on napkins at lunch with friends.” —Melodie Ramone
"If you have an outline for your book, you don’t have to worry about inspiration striking. You already know what you’re going to write." - @jodibrandon
You’ll know about some pockets of time, of course, but not others. You know, for example, that you have 15 minutes in the car while waiting to pick up your kids from school each weekday. Maybe your doctor had an emergency appointment just before yours was scheduled, and suddenly you have 20 minutes to write while you wait for her. Or maybe a friend calls on a day school’s closed and invites your little to the movies. Score — two hours you weren’t expecting. Or maybe the biz bestie you’re having lunch with has to take an emergency call. (You can feel bad for their emergency while simultaneously feeling great about those 10 minutes to write, by the way.)
A Little + A Little + A Little = A Lot
Carry a notepad and pen with you if you’re old-school. Otherwise carry your phone with you. (That might be the easiest part of the whole process!) Don’t be shy about pulling a notepad out of your purse and jotting down a few sentences at a time. It might not seem like much in those moments, but when you put them together, suddenly you’ve written an entire subsection of your book. Maybe in a week or two, you’ve written an entire chapter.
The Elephant in the Room
Is it going to take you longer to write your book this way? I won’t lie: Yes, it most likely will. Please don’t let that discourage you.
What Did You Say?
I’d venture a guess that the “speak your book” method applies perfectly for those who have identified themselves as not having a way to build book writing into their day-to-day schedule. If your pockets of time are on the small end (say, five to 10 minutes instead of 20 to 30 minutes), it might make more sense to speak rather than type. You can get more words “written” in a short amount of time, and that’s the name of the game.
"I’d venture a guess that the 'speak your book' method applies perfectly for those who have identified themselves as not having a way to build book writing into their day-to-day schedule." - @jodibrandon
The “speak your book” method works for longer pockets of time, too, of course, if you prefer it. Some author-entrepreneurs write the entire first draft of their book this way!
What small pockets of time have you used to make progress on a writing project? Tell me in the comments!