Stealth Mode & Other Writing Maneuvers

For me, finding a quiet spot to write is hard to come by. With three kids, my house is usually somewhere between raucous and ear-splitting. I’ve tried writing after the kids go to bed, but by that point, I’m exhausted and my creativity is zapped.

What’s worked better for me is getting up before the rest of the house.* But if I breathe too loud, I’ll have a houseful of short people wanting chocolate milk and waffles. That means no sudden movements and no grinding coffee beans. 20160220_111813.jpg

So, if I forget to grind my beans the night before, this is what I’m stuck with. Instant coffee.

Nescafe may only marginally meet the definition of coffee, but it does contain caffeine, an important food group for a writer’s brain.

Other tricks I use to try to keep moving forward on my manuscript are using apps like voice to text and Google Docs. This allows me to add in ideas on the go.

On the low-tech side, I try to keep a pen and paper handy. The other day I was on the rolling table at the chiropractor when I had an idea for some dialogue for a couple of my characters. I whipped out my index cards and jotted down the words before they evaporated. Caveat: this behavior may be frowned upon by your chiropractor.

IMG_20160219_121743One final thing that has helped me lately, is having all my major plot points written on a set of note cards. This gives me a fast visual on key scenes without having to dive into my 30+ page planning document every time.

Before laying things out on the cards, I was getting too caught up in the minutia and wasting time editing details that might not make the final cut. Thank you awesome, strategic husband for the idea.

What’s your writing happy place? What tools help you write?

*I wrote this post a year and a half ago but never posted it. I found it today in my drafts folder and decided to release it from purgatory. Waking up early didn’t last (but writing did). I guess I’m just too set in my night owl ways. That and instant coffee is evil.


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