By Annie Cronin Romano
Some days are not writing days. Some days my “butt” is not “in chair” clicking away at my next masterpiece. This is a fact of life for me. As determined as I want to be, as focused as my writing goal may be, there are some days that the actual act of writing simply doesn’t happen. Why? Because life keeps coming at me. Sometimes it comes faster than I’d like. Kids get sick. Work gets busier. Appointments take longer than planned. Holidays approach and guests come to visit. And that writing time I promised myself can become tough to come by. But it does not have to be time lost.
Often, as I’m sitting in traffic, I’ll wonder about a plot point in my novel. Does it make sense? Should I cut that scene? What if I did X instead of Y? I’m plotting!
When I’m sitting in the waiting room at my son’s orthodontist appointment, I look around the room and try to imagine how the children are feeling. Nervous about getting braces? Excited because their braces are coming off? What if they weren’t kids at an orthodontist’s office? What if they were __________ at the _________ trying to do ___________? I fill in the blanks and write it down on the ever present notepad in my bag. I’m brainstorming!
These are examples of being productive even when I’m not actually writing. Although I may not get to sit and write every day, I strive to contribute something to my craft on a daily basis. Mentally working on my story’s plot, brainstorming an idea for a possible picture book, reading books in my writing genre, researching an agent on my phone while the soup warms on the stove for a sick kiddo. These are all ways to keep the creative juices flowing!
Do not get down on yourself if you aren’t able to write every day. Instead, if you can’t physically write, mentally write. Answer the “what ifs” in your storyline. Grab ideas from the hustle and bustle around you. Try to visualize stories from the everyday routine, then twist them inside out and upside down. And jot them down. Do this and you won’t lose the muse!
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