There's something worse than writer's block: it's those times when you want to write, have ideas, but no time. You've probably read many patronizing lists of writing tips on the web that always say "write every day." It's good to try, but sometimes it's just not possible. That's life. 




Unless life also gives you water AND sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck     Credit



So what can you do? Keep in the right frame of mind. Yeah, easier aid than done, right? Well I'll use myself as an example here. This week today, Monday, I had to cancel a pool-party for my night job. Tomorrow it's errands with the dog, cleaning, then game night which I host for my friends. Wednesday I have 3-4 sessions at work, a 1 hour, 4 hour, and 2 hour, and possibly another 1 hour. Thursday I have a business lunch then my night job from 5p.m.-well into the night. Friday I get to sleep, then have an awesome date afternoon/evening planned, and Saturday another 5-6 hours of my night job. Sunday maybe even more. Doesn't sound like much but the hours of my night job don't include travel, set-up, clean up which nearly doubles what's scheduled. So where do I have time to write? I don't.

Here's my plan. At the night job I usually have 10 minutes between the set-up and when my client arrives. So I'm bringing books along. That's right, the single best thing you can do is read books similar to your work. Since I'm tackling the next Marly Jackson novel I'll be re-reading the Continental Op series by Dashiell Hammett. Okay, I just needed an excuse to re-read them, I love them, but it is productive.



Like any of us need an excuse, it's called multi-tasking, damn it!     Credit
 

  
 

Another thing you can do is watch movies in the same vein. Lucky for me there is no shortage of film noir. So in that 45 minutes between brushing my teeth/washing my face and unconsciousness, maybe I can't write, but I can watch Sam Spade and Mike Hammer do their thing. Hell, I can watch V.I. Warshawski and remember to never sell the film rights to Marly Jackson unless they hire me as a writer. 

You can also talk shop. This is why it's always good to have writer friends. Talk to them about their projects, bounce around ideas. Now is a great time to mull over any problems. For me it's just how evil one character will be, one who's kind of in the middle of everything, but can't decide the alignment.



Whenever making business decisions as a writer always ask yourself "What would Stephen King do?" Naturally that will be "_____________ with smarm." Leave that last part off.     Credit

 
  

Whatever you do, now is NOT the time to take a break! The time for a break is when you're overloaded. Take a break only when you're under pressure intense pressure and have met your deadline, been writing too much and ignoring life, or have sever writer's block. When you want to write but time won't let you, do the above things. And always have a backup plan to write when you can. If my 4 hour sessions doesn't happen Wednesday, I'll use that time to write.

Alternatively, you can always sleep when you're dead.



Of course, I say that now, but we know how it ends...     Credit