Once upon a time, I thought that to be an author you had to have a special magical place to write. A place where if you sat there words and stories would come to you magically. That the space you wrote at was the key to success. Then I became a mom. Guess what, I have a desk and it is extra special writing time if I get to sit there, but if I waited until I could sit at my desk to write, I would't ever get any writing done. I can't be picky about where I sit if I want to hit realistic goals. I can't balance my writing life and my mom life. So if you are struggling for time, for the perfect environment I would ask you one thing. How much does it really matter to you where you write? For some it might be huge, and they will have to make it a priority, for others it might not matter as much as you think it does. That was my case. As a mom I have to write in what ever kind of environment I can get, while balancing my 5 kids and their schedules. That might mean sometimes I will write outside, in the car, in the living room, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in my kids bedroom. Seriously I write everywhere. I cannot rely on that magical place. I have to make every place magical. And guess what you can too.
10 Tips to making any space your magical writing space:
1. Bring only what you need. Balancing extra stuff will get annoying quick.
2. Set your kids up with whatever activity they will be doing, and then get to work. Advanced preparation here is key.
3. Headphones and writing music is great as long as you don't need your ears for anything else. Its great to keep your writing mood and drown out some of the background noise.
4. Bring something to drink. Seriously I always get thirsty when I am writing. Same with any writing snacks you love.
5. Try to have internet access for quick research or the use of a thesaurus or dictionary.
6. Accept that you will get interrupted, and learn to be okay with that. There will be some distractions when you aren't sitting at your desk but are out in the world.
7. Make good use of your time. Turn off all the distractions that you can choose to get lost in, and make your writing time as effective as you can. Hint hint, Social Media.
8. Be flexible!
9. Have back up pens if you are editing with a hard copy.
10. If you scoot your chair back in the car your lap becomes a great desk.
BONUS: Not planning on writing but the opportunity comes up. ALWAYS keep a small notebook and pen with you. Then you can sneak in some writing when the unexpected time presents itself. I always have writing stuff in my car, for when I end up waiting for my husband or kids for longer than I expect. Your google doc app on your phone is also good, if you don't mind working on your story with your tiny phone keyboard.
BONUS #2: Use a recording app or get one of those recorders for lectures so that you can talk the book and type it up later. Could be useful if you can't really use your hands like on a long drive, where you are the driver. Just pay attention to the road. :D
One last thing. Forgive yourself if you don't get a lot done. That is normal and fine. Just celebrate what you do accomplish, even if it is only two sentences, Or one page edited. That is still more than you would have gotten if you didn't take the spare moment. EVERY WORD IS A WIN!
Sometimes I write at my beautiful desk(which I love a lot), with all of my writing books and my notebooks all in order. Sometimes I write at my desk with my headphones on. Sometimes I have to leave my house to write and sometimes my husband takes my kids on daddy adventures when I write. And quite often I am on a blanket outside in the shade while my kids play. It is all about balancing and finding a way to make your writing time and your writing place work together.
What about you? Where do you end up writing?