Monday, April 6, 2009

How I write when I'm not writing. Makes sense. Right? - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

It's been a rough few weeks. Long story short, 3 kids + colds + fevers + tummy bugs = not much time to write. Heck, I haven't even had time for sanity.

I'm itching to read, and work on revisions, but it has been hard. I've done a little here and there, but not enough to satisfy.

However, I have found that even though I haven't been revising, I have found some time to work on new ideas while I'm trying to go to sleep. During that time between wakefulness and sleep I've been able to work on some new book ideas. My stories work best when they have time to mull over in my mind. Right before I fall asleep is one of the best times for this for me. Sometimes I ask myself "what if" questions. Sometimes I walk through an idea and imagine myself as the protagonist and try to put myself is his/her shoes: what do I smell? what do things look like? What would I need in that situation? What happens next? What do I wish I had. Sometimes I think about backstory.

Not to mention, I've had some great dreams! Not necessarily "great" meaning "happy" rather, "great" as in, wow! I could use that in a book!

So, lately most of my writing has taken the form of "thinking" and jotting down enough that I don't forget. Sometimes I feel bad about not having more time to really focus on writing, but maybe the "thinking" time may be more beneficial for my creativity than I realize. Life brings "stuff" and we have to learn to roll with the punches. Right? So, for now, I'm going to make the most of the time that I have. Even if it's simply that hazy time between wakefullness and dreams. Heck! I'm even putting my dreams to good use.

What ways to you "write" when you're not "writing?"


Shelli said...

jot down ideas for books. even when i am reading newspapers, mags or trash - I am always loking for something for a story :)

slhastings said...

Unfortunately, when I get immersed in a story before bed, I don't fall asleep. (Makes for cranky Sam the next the day).

I, too, jot notes down, or do a little research on the subject I'm "planning" on writing about. Or I read.

Sometimes taking a break, whether it's forced or not, is the best way to re-charge those batteries.

PJ Hoover said...

I love this idea, Christy. I've heard it, but reading your post really makes it sink in. I am from this day forward doing this every night! Thanks!

Kelly said...

My mind swims with story ideas when I'm falling asleep, too. I've even gotten up in the middle of the night to run downstairs jot a few things down then go to sleep.

Anonymous said...

I do exactly the same thing as you: mull over ideas, especially in bed before going to sleep. I think the relaxation somehow frees the creative juices and makes them flow. :-)

Jacqui said...

I write a lot when I'm not writing. Mostly, it's getting the voice. For picture books, I never start writing until the first several lines are perfect in my head and I know where I want to go from there.

Kelly H-Y said...

Sounds like you're 'rolling with it' just great ... thinking, dreaming ... all things that can be put to use in your writing!!!

sruble said...

I do a lot of thinking then too, usually when I'm really tired and need sleep. Do you remember your ideas in the morning or do you write them down? I've done both and I've also forgotten them in the morning. But even if I forget, I think that thinking about it is helpful and spurs the next brainstorming session. Showers and long walks are also good for thinking.

Hope you all are feeling better and you have more time to write soon (or at least have a few moments of sanity)!

Edith said...

Oooh, yes. I write a lot when I'm not writing. I figure out how to make "problem" scenes work better in addition to new book ideas. "Thinking time" is writing time for real, yo.

Bish Denham said...

I sometimes can't sleep for the conversations going on in my head! I agree with Edith, thinking time is just as important as writing time. But we must not get so lost in the thinking that we fail to do the writing.

When I'm not actually writing I'm also taking notes and journaling

Kate said...

Sleep? You're a writer, you're not allowed to sleep!
Seriously though, dreams are great story starters.
Hope everyone is well and happy soon.

Angela said...

Ahhhh... writing and dreaming the perfect combination!

I hope everyone is feeling better at your place!

D.A. Riser said...

I keep a notepad next to my bed just in case I have any ideas come to mind.

This past weekend, we were driving back from TN when a new idea popped into my head for a book. Thankfully, my wife found a scrap piece of paper and jotted it down for me as I drove. You just never know when that one idea will be THE one.

Nora MacFarlane said...

I pretty much fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow! My story ideas usually come when I have a few peaceful minutes during the day, or when I go walking. I keep a Memorex in my purse or pocket, then when I have the time, I transcribe them to my idea file on the computer.

Brenda said...

I've jotted notes on scraps of paper, napkins and even my hand and arm, so that I wouldn't forget them...Hubs always jokes that is why I wear a lot of long sleeved shirts so I can cover up my arm novel...grin...

Solvang Sherrie said...

I do the same thing! I try to keep a notebook and a pencil beside my bed because when I'm half-asleep I get some GREAT ideas!! And if I don't write it down I forget...or I lay there thinking about it until I have to drag my tired body out of bed to find some paper to write it down :^)

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