When I first started writing coaching, I had a client tell me that she treated her writing as if it was unplanned sex! When she needed to, she would sneak it in whenever she could. Every spare moment on weekends, after school, or instead of lunch, she would grab her journal or computer and write. She savored the time, relishing it because it was all hers.
So, I advise my clients to carry a notebook wherever they go. Take it to doctor’s appointments and write in the waiting room. Take it on the bus and write instead of staring out the window or reading the newspaper. If you are carpooling and can write without getting car sick, write. Even if the writing is in ten-minute bursts, like unplanned sex, it will make you feel exhilarated as you see your progress.
I’m fortunate to be able to focus a lot of my attention on my writing. However, even with full days blocked out for writing, often, my best writing comes from the brief snatches of time that I quickly write down what I’m thinking in the moment. It’s a matter of staying present, of having that focus because you know it’s all the time you have to get it down on paper, to be revised later.
I’m the type of person who requires the stimulation of social events and being around people. So I often take my notebook to a restaurant or coffee shop and write. The white noise helps, but it’s also a source of new material, new input into my world. It refills my well. It can be an adventure.
So, be bold. Take your writing material to new sources. Treat it like unplanned sex, and have some fun challenging yourself to write in venues that you would never have thought about before.
Exercise: Write about the best, unplanned sex you’ve ever had in your life. How did it happen? What’s keeping you from doing it now? How can you do the same with your writing?