Sunday, April 5, 2009

Write Even When You Are Not Writing

The other day I was driving home from work, day-dreaming about the story for the novel I am currently writing. As I thought about it, new ideas began to bubble up from somewhere inside me. I knew it was good, and I knew it would enhance the book so when I got home, I quickly found some paper and wrote it all out so I would not loose the essence of what I pictured.

I know this happens to all writers, especially while they are in the middle of a project. What I'm not sure of is how much priority is placed on this time, thinking about your work while you are not at the keyboard.

We all have read that some of your best work can come from your mind solving problems and generating ideas while you sleep. But do we feed our mind before bed? Perhaps reviewing a trouble area or just re-reading your last few pages of writing before bed might prove a helpful ally in your writing the next morning.

And of all that dead time in the car, at the doctors office, at the Jiffy Lube, how much time is spent listening to the radio or flipping through magazines adorned with Angelina Jolie's lips that could be spent expanding or deepening your story. These times are opportunities to wear your creative hat while not generating words and paragraphs, but rather finding or expanding the big picture.

You may find a love story that deepens or a plot line that has additional back story bringing new richness to the texture of the work. We have only a limited amount of time each day, each year, and in a lifetime. In our busy society, it is more important than ever to make time for reflection and to let you mind wander.

The thing is we know how to do this because it is usually how we develop a good idea for a novel in the first place. Just choose to not stop while you are in the crunch of writing the novel.

J Hugh Thomas is a database developer and a programmer who is writing his first novel. Read his blog to see all of his writer's resources and free advice.

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