My, how things have changed. On weekends, it’s not unusual to reserve a two or three hour block and get stuff done, but on a weeknight sometimes fifteen minutes is all I can afford.
There’s not very much you can do in fifteen minutes, obviously, and while trying to squeeze in one or two hundred words in that time might be a noble thing to do, it might not always be the most productive. I know I’m usually unable to just sit down and immediately pick up where I left off. It might take a half hour just to figure out where I left the story and try to remember where I was hoping to go when I quit.
So when there is a night that I want to get something done and I don’t have enough time to adequately write fiction, I’ll work on something else writing related instead.
Here are three good ways to spend fifteen minutes working on writing when you’re not actually writing.
1. Research some potential publishers.
I’ve got plenty of works-in-progress and sometimes it’s a good idea to know where I want to submit a piece once it’s finished. I can easily spend fifteen minutes searching Duotrope and planning out where each WIP can go after they are finished.
2. Read some writing blogs.
Hopefully you have a list of good writing blogs. The more you read about writing, the better writer you’ll become. Pick out a couple of recent posts and read them over and then leave some comments, too. You never know who you might. And it could help bring some traffic to your own blog as well.
3. Twitter & Facebook.
Let me throw out the disclaimer that I’m not advocating you hit Facebook and waste an afternoon. We’re talking about writing here. If you have a Facebook author page or a Twitter profile dedicated to your writing, then go spend fifteen minutes on it interacting with people. If your going to promote your stuff, be careful about it. Don’t spam and don’t become one of those BUY MY BOOK bots. It’s much more important to use the social media to be social. People make friends with people–not advertisements.
Well, I hope these suggestions were at least somewhat useful. It’s not so much what you do, just that you do something related to your writing every day even on days where you don’t have a lot of time.
Stay focused and be creative.
But most importantly, if you’re the type of person who can actually write something worthwhile in a fifteen block, then by all means ignore this post and just work on your fiction.
What else could you work on when you have a limited amount of time to write?