As I mentioned in this post, only writing in the time that I had designated as ‘writing time’ had a limiting effect on my writing. Since discovering these limitations, I have taken some steps to ensure that I’m making the most of my writing time and energy. This has led me to the discovery of ‘in-between’, and I’ve found it particularly helpful in accomplishing my writing goals:
#1. In-Between Time:
Finding time ‘in-between’ activities can be difficult, especially since the advent of smartphones. When most of us have a spare moment, we usually turn to our smartphones to fill those moments. I have a bad technology habit, that I have recently been working on. One of the action steps that has worked best for me has been to delete Facebook and Twitter from my smartphone. That way, during ‘in-between’ moments – standing in line at Starbucks, waiting for a student who is late, etc… I don’t scroll mindlessly anymore. Instead, I pull out a little notepad, and I start thinking about a story I’ve been working on. I’ve been astounded by just how much writing I can get done in these little in-between moments, and even more impressed with the quality of work that comes out of these moments. It might not work for everyone, but it certainly can’t hurt to try – particularly if it helps you crush out another 300 words while waiting for your latte!
#2. In-Between Place:
I’ve found commutes particularly helpful for this, since they are by nature, ‘in-between’. ‘ve found it helpful to use that commuting time for writing, or more accurately, brainstorming. While stuck in ‘volume delays’ for over an hour, I direct my mind towards my latest writing project, and allow it to ruminate in the story. Obviously, there are times during my commute when it is neither practical, nor particularly safe to do that. But rather than sit in quietly simmering anger at the state of traffic, I have been most pleased with the results of turning my attention towards my work. Not only does it improve my mood, but it makes me considerably more productive!
#3. In-Between Ideas:
I now write down any flash of inspiration I have, any pairing of words that strikes me as odd, or somehow relevant. None of these are fleshed out ideas, they are more akin to little sparks, that catch my interest, and tantalize me with that indescribably feeling that with the right energy and attention applied, they might catch fire, into something bigger. These ‘in-between’ ideas take careful management. I can’t think about them too much, or they’ll just burn up. But if I completely ignore them, they fade away entirely. So I need to capture them, like fireflies in a jar, and see if they turn into something later. Interestingly, they usually do!
Have you tried writing in the ‘in-between’? Tell me in the comments below!
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