If writing is something you do on top of a job and the rest of your life, then it’s probably fair to say that you have limited time for it. Which is ok, and very real. Not everyone can do what they want at every moment of their life. What it does mean is that you have to make the most of your writing time. For me, it means ignoring the “but I’m a creative” protests in my brain and using a structure to get started in my writing.
Using Structure To Get Started
It really depends. Sometimes a vague reference point helps me. For example, this post references how many words are in each chapter of The Hunger Games. It gives me a mental image to feel guided enough to get started. It doesn’t mean I religiously follow the structure forever and ever.
Sign up to my regular newsletter to ensure you don’t miss a book release.
Notes To Self
I sometimes open a new chapter and give myself some notes to follow. Notes can give me a mental reminder of “write this next”, without spending limited time re-reading where I was at to “catch up” before I get started.
I am either great at or useless with a blank page. There is no middle ground for me! If other techniques aren’t working for me, then I try a blank page to get me started. It doesn’t matter if you go off topic or are slightly out of character when you’re doing a first draft, it can all be used, reused, released as bonuses or spark new ideas.
Random Prompt Generators
You can also slip into the land of prompts. The usefulness of this depends on how distractable you are – sometimes a prompt can help you get words onto the page, in a refreshing way like crisp air. Other times the prompts can make you want to start ten other stories at the same time, which is difficult if you don’t have ten extra sets of hands and probably ten extra laptops.
What helps you get started with a writing task?