Writing In The In-Between

Writing In-Between

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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5 thoughts on “Writing In The In-Between

  1. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who writes when they commute. Sadly, my workplace is only 1/2 hour drive away, so if I took public transport, it would be two buses and double my travel time. Yes, I really do miss the energy you get from commutes. I also carry around a small notebook and pen. My workplace is pretty intense, but I’ve found the toilets to be a good place to “go to” if you’ve suddenly caught by an inspiring idea.

    • I really love the commute as a buffer zone between work and not-work! I used to take transit as well for 1.5 hours, and my driving time has really cut down on the ‘commuting/writing’ time – unless of course I’m stuck in volume delays!
      Haha the toilets take the win as the most ‘in-between’ of writing places!

  2. The problem with carrying around a small note pad for me is that I can never find a pen on my person.

  3. […] wrote more about this in detail here, but finding time for writing can happen at any time during the day, even at your full-time job. […]

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